Marlborough foresters plan to attract young workers
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.