WIDE Trust supports Schools Visitor Programme

Friday 28 Oct 2022

With support from the WIDE Trust Scion Research has appointed Mr Tim McLay, a trained teacher, to manage the development and delivery of a programme to encourage NZ school aged students into a forestry and wood-based bio economy science and technology career. A Scion scientist, Dr Toni Withers, has been seconded to assist Mr McLay.

The over-riding objective of the Scion Schools Visitor Programme is to give students exposure to Scion and the forest and wood-based bio economy sector resulting in students moving from school into tertiary training in skills and capabilities of importance to the sector and its current and future needs.

The development of the programme is a response to the recognised skills shortages that currently exist, and are projected to increase, across the primary sector including the forest and wood sectors. Dr Tim Payne, Principal Scientist at Scion Research says “The science sector is facing skills shortages and recruitment issues that are impacting Scion, a key provider of research and development to the forest and wood sectors. Scion is developing a ‘grow our own’ development strategy, focussing on people in New Zealand, which spans school age, tertiary and in work components.”

The Scion Schools Visitor Programme aims to establish a pipeline flowing from school through tertiary training to ultimate employment in the science and technology sector that will support the success of the Scion “grow our own” approach. Dr Payn says “Reaching high school students early is proven to have an impact on their future training and career choices. We will work with local schools, the Ministry of Education and key tertiary providers to develop a programme and trial it at Scion’s Rotorua campus.”

Dr Payn is hopeful that the end result will be an operating programme that gives students a taste of science and technology and the wider forest and wood sectors with a number moving into tertiary study as a result. “We aim to produce a structured programme that can be regularly updated, and that appeals to a school audience”, Dr Payn says.

Businesses, students and others involved in studies and work to enhance the forestry and wood industry sectors in New Zealand are invited to apply to the WIDE Trust for a grant to support their efforts.

Apply Online - www.widetrust.org.nz

Source: WIDE Trust

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