John Stulen stepping down from FICA
With both the domestic log market and log exports to China running at all time highs, the demand for harvesting crews is stronger than ever and this is focusing even more attention on the need to attract more people into the industry.
A recent survey of FICA members highlighted labour as their biggest current constraint. Now, two proposals to address recruitment and training are set to be debated.
The nature of the close relationship between forest managers and their contractors means any solutions for increasing our worker skill and numbers requires both parties to work closely together.
FICA has engaged with two groups to agree on how to plan and implement ways of attracting and training new entrants from schools and re-train existing mature workers. Here’s the thinking so far:
Henry Koia of Mania Safety Systems is promoting a 'TrainMe' proposal for a training crew to be established in the Gisborne region. FICA members are engaged in discussions to provide practical input to this project. NZFOA is also interested in providing some input to advance this into a workable scheme. Anyone who wants to have input should contact board member, Robert Stubbs.
Fraser Field of Rayonier has approached FICA to work together with forest managers in the central North Island to run a pilot training crew somewhere in the Bay of Plenty. Fraser has completed two successful training projects already. He worked with Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology to get their machine operator training schemes in place. He has also re-designed training systems for forest-based quarries and operators.
Fraser has a vision to extend the training crew concept to other regions including Hawkes Bay, Nelson, Northland and Otago. FICA agrees in principle...
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