Port Lincoln brewery to benefit from training funding

CHEERS: Brody Burrows and Cameron Sproule toast to starting their traineeship at Beer Garden Brewing.
CHEERS: Brody Burrows and Cameron Sproule toast to starting their traineeship at Beer Garden Brewing.

A Port Lincoln brewery will be among others in the craft beer industry across South Australia that will benefit from a funding boost to support a traineeship program to grow employment.

The Department for Innovation and Skills has partnered with the Independent Brewers Association to create traineeship opportunities and upskill workers in the state's growing craft beer industry.

Funding totaling $45,000 will support the Pilot Traineeship Program for Craft Brewing, where 12 workers will upskill through a Certificate III in Food Processing - Brewing with TAFE SA.

Two trainees at Beer Garden Brewing, Brody Burrows and Cameron Sproule will benefit from this program in 2020.

Beer Garden Brewing business manager Janie Butterworth said from a jobs perspective the craft beer industry had a bigger impact on employment compared to the bigger breweries.

"Per million litres of beer produced craft brewers employ 40 full-time equivalent staff and big brewers, which are mostly foreign owned, employ only 0.5 employees per million litres of beer," she said.

Mrs Butterworth said this focus on boosting the craft brewing industry would help grow the business.

She said since before the brewery opened three staff had gained a Certificate III in Food Processing - Brewing, head brewer Dan Treagus, brewery worker Jake Nicholas and herself.

Mr Burrows, originally from Lock said he was "super excited" to begin work at the brewery and learning all aspects of the industry.

"Coming from an agricultural background as well it's really exciting to see the end product...and get involved in the science and chemistry of creating beer," he said.

Mr Sproule said this was a rare opportunity that he felt lucky to get access to.

"It's something I like to do, as a passion...but the opportunity didn't come up too often," he said.

"It's great to get this chance to get into the industry."

The program falls under the Skilling South Australia initiative which aims to provide jobs and opportunities for South Australians and meeting the needs of the state's industries.

Innovation and Skills Minister David Pisoni said driven by the Independent Brewers Association this was Australia's first traineeship program in brewing and would support existing workers to advance their careers through practical on-the-job training and mentor support.

Independent Brewers Association director Richard Adamson said the project was started to increase skills, capability and capacity of independent breweries.

"Our industry's continued success relies on growing the skills of new and existing staff," he said.