Forestry trainees to earn as they learn
A SCHEME TO ENABLE YOUNG PEOPLE starting off in forestry to ‘earn as they learn’ has been unveiled.
The innovative forestry training scheme sees industry, training providers and iwi coming together to provide a new pathway into training and Associate Minister of Forestry Meka Whaitiri, who formally launched the Tupu Ake scheme, says it could be replicated elsewhere.
Tupu Ake aims to improve training and increase the number of youth in the forestry industry where currently there is a shortage of skilled workers.
Led by Keven Ihaka’s Forest Protection Services (FPS), the programme aims to offer 15-24 year-olds who want to work in forestry a chance to gain tertiary qualifications, life skills, and a job at the end of the 12-month programme.
FPS is partnering with Te Matarau Trust, which is providing the life skills and pastoral support component of the programme and Northtec, which is providing the classroom element to develop the technical skills. Three of the five days are spent in the forest with FPS. The personal development and training days are funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment through He Poutama Rangatahi, a pilot initiative focused on tackling youth unemployment.
“This transitional care is very important to the success of the programme,” says Mr Ihaka, Managing Director of FPS, which is putting the students on its payroll.
He says it not only gives trainees money to support themselves but enables them to qualify for additional pay incentives as they progress.
He hopes the programme will show young trainees the opportunities available in forestry and expose them to positive working conditions and the team environment.