PGF funding to help establish forestry schoolThe Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will provide just over NZ$300,000 to pilot a forestry training course as a solution to the growing forestry skills shortage, New Zealand’s Regional Economic Development and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced on Friday.
The full cost of the pilot is NZ$840,000, with the additional funding coming from the Eastland Community Trust, the Forest Growers Levy Trust and the Eastern Institute of Technology.
“Forestry is a key sector in Tairāwhiti, but there simply aren’t enough skilled workers in the region to do the work,” Shane Jones said. “The ManaiaSAFE Forestry School pilot course funded through today’s announcement will reduce the current skills shortage by preparing individuals with the right skills needed to be successful and make forestry their career of choice.
“The pilot will take eleven trainees through 20 weeks of training, with the goal of gaining permanent employment. It will also contribute nine new jobs to the local community through the running of the course.
“Current forestry training often sees students move from the classroom to a full commercial logging crew, with practical learning done on the job in a high-pressure environment. This can lead to disengagement and potential health and safety risks”.
“The ManaiaSAFE Forestry School pilot will bridge the gap between the classroom and commercial sites by delivering a specifically designed training programme within a controlled, commercial environment.
“If successful, the pilot could also form the basis for similar training courses in other parts of the country where there are forestry skills shortages,” Shane Jones said.
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