INTRODUCTION

Forestry and timber training in the district has a multi-pronged approach, including the Trades Centre, Forestry Machine Simulators and the Generation Training Program.

The opportunity arose to set up local forestry training based on the highly successful Generation Program model developed by the Eastland Wood Council. This project was led by South Waikato District Council with support from Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) and the CNI Wood Council (CNIWC).
Alongside others, SWIFT assisted in funding the development of a Business Case for the program as a precursor to applying for operational funding grants. To date the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) and Ministry of Education (MOE) have provided some initial funding and more will be sought including the 1 Bn Trees program, SWIFT and industry. The Generation Program will be run by the newly formed CNI Wood Council.
The aim is to train 75 youth over 3 years with the first cohort to start July 2021.

The challenge is to attract young people into a variety of careers in forestry and related industries. The perception is that the work is dangerous, low paid and with minimal career prospects. The truth is far from this with an absolute focus on health and safety, alongside multiple jobs available across the industries and at multiple levels.

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