Eastland forestry training programme underway

Friday 26 Oct 2018

Eastland Wood Council’s Generation Programme is under way. The 14 trainees in the inaugural programme, which aims to provide a direct pipeline of work-ready, skilled and trained people into employment in the forest industry, were last week were welcomed with a whakatau at Turanga Ararau.

Eastland Wood Council chief executive Kim Holland said the trainees were excited to have the opportunity to be earning as they were learning. In April, the Generation Programme was funded NZ$215,000 over three years from the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi employment scheme, plus an additional NZ$60,000 from the Ministry of Social Development.

Generation Programme participants will spend six weeks at a forestry base camp industry-introduction programme, followed by “learn while you earn” employment with contractors, complemented with part-time courses and a continuing individualised training plan through EIT Tairawhiti, Turanga Ararau and Competenz.

Students will also receive pastoral care from First Choice Employment and programme manager Siobhain Fyall. The new programme is set to produce 12 graduates in the first year, 30 in the second and 60 in the third.

During the six-week base camp programme, trainees will take part in an early morning fitness routine, have drug and alcohol education programmes, and learn the core general requirements they need to work in the forest industry. They will also have industry days where they will visit various forestry operations, including silviculture, earthworks and harvesting.

Feedback from the first trainees had been great so far, said Ms Holland. “One has already been working with a contractor and told the others how much he loved being out in the forest every day and going to work — even getting up early.”

Photo: Pictured at back from left are George Tanirau, TJ Kilburn, Eastland Wood Council chief executive Kim Holland, Tahi Hiroki, Destiny Muri, Vita Wilson, Henry Koia, Zyon Moana, Tikai Harris and Generation Programme manager Siobhain Fyall. At front from left are Mikaire Bell, Justus Apiata, Matthew Peneha, Caitlin Hauiti and Anaru Kingi. Picture by Paul Rickard

Source & Image: Gisborne Herald

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