Train­ing hub of­fers more than fu­ture work se­cu­rity

Australian Forests and Timber - - FRONT PAGE -

ES­TAB­LISH­MENT OF the Ar­bre Forest In­dus­tries Pro­mo­tion and Train­ing Hub at In­ver­may (Tas­ma­nia) is seen as more than just a new ap­proach to en­sur­ing qual­i­fied work­ers for the fu­ture ... it’s a huge at­ti­tu­di­nal change from in­dus­try and its par­tic­i­pants!

The hub aim is to up­skill forestry work­ers, in con­junc­tion with our rel­e­vant RTO,s, to meet chang­ing ex­pec­ta­tions of ex­per­tise in all facets of the work AND it’s about chang­ing com­mu­nity at­ti­tudes to­wards that work.

Hub Project Man­ager Col McCul­loch, a long­time forestry con­trac­tor who knows the in­dus­try ex­cep­tion­ally well, says the in­dus­try wants to do a bet­ter job of “show­ing who we are, what we are, how we do it; be­ing proac­tive and re-di­rect­ing the con­ver­sa­tion around forestry and its im­por­tance within the Pri­mary In­dus­tries na­tion­ally”, and this ties in with the skill set change.

Col said Tas­ma­nia’s wood and forestry in­dus­try had changed and now needed more peo­ple equipped with the right skills and at­ti­tudes than had been re­quired in the past.

“The own­er­ship of the forests is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to what it was five or 10 years ago. We’re very much owned by in­vest­ment-based com­pa­nies, most of those be­ing in­ter­na­tional. Ex­pec­ta­tions around safety and train­ing are a lot higher, as they should be, and of course in­dus­try has got to per­form to stan­dards set by cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams,” Col said.

Col said the hub would cater to for­mer and ex­ist­ing forestry work­ers as well as new en­trants and he was hope­ful that up 50 can­di­dates would ben­e­fit from the cen­tre in its first year..

The hub is work­ing with ex­ist­ing train­ing providers and ca­reers ad­vi­sors, to join the as­pi­ra­tions of em­ploy­ees to the jobs and ca­reer path­ways that would emerge as the in­dus­try re­cov­ered and started to ex­pand.

“We do need peo­ple who un­der­stand what map­ping is, forest value re­cov­ery and un­der­stand com­puter val­ues now more so than ever. If we can sell that mes­sage into our com­mu­ni­ties, into our schools, into our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that if you are a good per­son we will find you a job, then that’s half the bat­tle,” said Col.

Sam Hall, from a well-known north-east Tas­ma­nia log­ging fam­ily, has just joined the hub as Co­or­di­na­tor and he, too, is look­ing for­ward to the cen­tre play­ing a cru­cial role in pro­vid­ing well­skilled fu­ture em­ploy­ees for the in­dus­try.

“The wheels are in mo­tion to have things fully op­er­a­tional by the start of the ed­u­ca­tion year,” said Col.

In the mean­time, spe­cial sim­u­la­tors have been in­stalled at the In­ver­may

cen­tre and an­other ma­jor sim­u­la­tor will go on show at AUSTim­ber 2016 be­fore be­ing in­stalled at the hub.

“The hub’s char­ter is to work dili­gently, and foster strong re­la­tion­ships with the ed­u­ca­tion in­dus­try, gov­ern­ment agen­cies, train­ing providers, and com­mu­nity groups to pro­mote the value and op­por­tu­nity of forestry ca­reers,” said Dar­rell Clark (Chair­man of the Gov­ern­ing Board rep­re­sented by Forico, Forestry Tas­ma­nia, the Kevin Mor­gan Group, Tim­ber­lands Pa­cific, Norske Skog and I-Farm ).

Dar­rell said the project was “much over­due, and very much in­dus­try driven”.

“We will cre­ate a mem­ber­ship base of like-minded em­ploy­ers within the in­dus­try that will be in­formed, on time, of any po­ten­tial em­ployee pos­si­bil­i­ties through a com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­gram in­volv­ing in­tro­duc­tion, progress and fol­low up, as well as up to date in­for­ma­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion in train­ing and em­ploy­ment pro­grams as and when they ap­pear. The big­ger and wider we can cre­ate this net­work, the more suc­cess­ful the Hub will be,” Dar­rell said.

Tas­ma­nian Re­sources Min­is­ter Paul Har­riss said the hub will al­low us to meet the cur­rent and fu­ture needs of an ex­pand­ing forest in­dus­try across a range of op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing har­vest­ing, haulage and the highly tech­ni­cal plan­ta­tion sec­tor. The Tas­ma­nian Gov­ern­ment con­trib­uted a one-off grant of $150,000 to en­able the start-up, matched with a dol­lar-for-dol­lar com­mit­ment from in­dus­try.

Jodi Batch­e­lor, work­ing on her Skid­der as she grad­u­ates through the hub’s Tim­ber Skills Learn­ing En­vi­ron­ment Pro­gram.

Hub Co­or­di­na­tor Sam Hall ex­plains the func­tions of the Waratah Sim­u­la­tor to Hub Chair­man Dar­rell Clark (Tim­ber­lands Pa­cific). www.tim­ber­biz.com.au

Hub Project Man­ager Col McCul­loch

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