Marl­bor­ough foresters plan to at­tract young work­ers

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

FORESTERS IN MARL­BOR­OUGH HAVE HATCHED A plan to at­tract more young peo­ple to work in the lo­cal in­dus­try.

Like many other parts of the coun­try, con­trac­tors and other em­ploy­ers in the north of the South Is­land are find­ing it dif­fi­cult to re­cruit work­ers.

So, the Marl­bor­ough For­est In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion has launched the Vo­ca­tional Train­ing As­sis­tance fund in a bid to at­tract young peo­ple to join its ranks. The fund has been made pos­si­ble thanks to a large do­na­tion from Flight Forestry.

Forestry is grow­ing in the Marl­bor­ough re­gion and cur­rently em­ploys around 900 di­rectly, but more will be re­quired in var­i­ous roles to help main­tain that growth.

To at­tract and re­tain new peo­ple to the sec­tor, the fund will pay for items such as the cost of train­ing cour­ses, trans­port and ac­com­mo­da­tion for study.

Vern Har­ris, Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer for the MFIA, told the lo­cal news­pa­per that forestry is com­pet­ing against sec­tors like con­struc­tion, min­ing and road­ing for the same peo­ple and needs to up its game. It’s also hav­ing to com­bat a per­cep­tion the in­dus­try is dan­ger­ous.

The new fund will open up for ap­pli­cants in Au­gust and any­one can ap­ply for as­sis­tance, pro­vided they live in the Marl­bor­ough re­gion.

Other ex­am­ples of how the fund could be used in­clude the pur­chase of books and course fees.

The as­so­ci­a­tion is also look­ing at the pos­si­bil­ity of bring­ing a har­vester sim­u­la­tor to Marl­bor­ough to en­able peo­ple to be trained in the ba­sic of ma­chine op­er­a­tion be­fore they go out into the for­est.

NZL

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