Paying people to join the forestry industry has provided a novel solution to a national problem.
Rayonier Matariki Forests has introduced a grants programme that encourages newcomers to the industry to sign up with contractors and get paid for the privilege.
The Training Grants programme has been offered to all Rayonier Matariki Forests contractors in order to bring fresh talent into the industry.
Rayonier Matariki Forests training manager, Fraser Field said the initiative was trialled last year in Bay of Plenty and was so successful it has now been implemented nationally.
“The industry is faced with a shortfall of newcomers and as existing workers are promoted into more highly skilled jobs, we have a gap at the entry level. To make it as easy as possible for our contractors to employ and train new people, we are supporting them in the best way possible – with funding.”
The grant covers a significant part of the employer’s costs and the trainee’s wages and all that is asked is that the applicant has a good attitude and a willingness to work.
Kylye and Tania Trengrove of KAT Logging in Hawke’s Bay have taken Rayonier Matariki Forests up on its generous offer and have employed 17 year old Brody Haddon.
“This was a great opportunity to bring new people into our industry without the challenge of covering the training costs. We have tailored Brody’s training so he is spending three days at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology obtaining the basic skills to start a career as a logger, and the other two days on the skid learning and gaining experience. We hope he will go on to develop his skills in the machines.
“The rest of the crew have also seen this as a very positive initiative and embraced the opportunity to help train Brody.”
Rayonier Matariki Forests has extended the grants scheme and opened it up to the silviculture industry to address the major shortage of skills.