Training gain coming

Wednesday 23 May 2018

New forestry apprenticeships on offer - Forestry companies in the Bay of Plenty region could benefit from new apprenticeship programmes designed to upskill their workers ahead of predicted industry growth.

Industry training organisation Competenz has launched two forest harvesting apprenticeships – one in manual operations and one in mechanised operations.

These apprenticeship programmes come at a time the forestry sector is poised for growth following the government's pledge in January to plant one billion new trees over the next ten years.

With mechanisation increasing the new apprenticeships will ensure apprentices gain key entry-level skills and knowledge before advancing to operation of mechanised processors and harvesters.

Competenz chief executive Fiona Kingsford said over 11,000 people were employed in the forestry sector in 2017 and 4339 more will be needed by 2022 to replace workers who retire or leave.

"This year alone there is demand for up to 1000 workers nationally and about 500 of those are needed to fill existing roles being vacated by people retiring or changing jobs.

"Our forestry participation data shows the Bay of Plenty region could need another 123 forestry workers this year," she said.

Kingsford said a qualified workforce leads to greater efficiency, safety, productivity and profitability.

"There's a lot of focus right now on the future of forestry – the goal to plant a billion trees, and the investment through the Provincial Growth Fund. It is vital our workforce is skilled and productive to meet the government's growth targets.

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Source: Stuff News

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