NSW students get rare glimpse at industry-leading timber mill

Friday 5 Jul 2024

A group of TAFE NSW Tumut saw technician apprentices – including a 63-year-old trainee – have had a firsthand glimpse of one of the region’s powerhouse sawmills in action as part of a special visit. The group of Certificate III in Saw Technology students, from saw mills across Australia, were recently given a guided tour of the nation’s largest softwood sawmilling business, Tumut’s AKD.

Part of an annual study tour using industry connections from the teachers at TAFE NSW Tumut’s Forestry Industries Centre, the visit enabled apprentices to see how a high-volume state-of-the-art softwood mill operated and gave AKD an opportunity to identify future talent.

Saw technicians/doctors are an irreplaceable part of the timber industry, repairing, setting and sharpening saw blades for timber production, often working within fractions of millimetres.

“This is the hub of the softwood industry in NSW and many of these apprentices haven’t seen anything like this before; it was a real eye-opener,” AKD saw shop supervisor Bill Stuckey said. “They got a real insight into how automation allows a log to be segregated, separated and broken down as sawn timber without a hand touching it.

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Source and image credit: TAFE NSW

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