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Training course attracting women to forestry

31 October 2020

In New Zealand, an Eastland Wood Council forestry training programme aimed at keeping pace with the demand for forestry workers has had an unexpected boon — boosting diversity in a traditionally male-dominated industry. The Gisborne Herald takes a deeper look at the benefits of the EWC Generation programme with programme manager Siobhain Fyall and some of the women who have successfully graduated.

“When we started the Generation Programme two years ago, we knew there was a demand in the forest industry for trained, work ready, and reliable workers,” EWC Generation Programme manager Siobhain Fyall said. “Our first Generation back in October 2018 was highly successful, with 11 trainees gaining full-time sustainable employment, eight in forestry.

“What did surprise us was the interest in the programme from females. We had four keen young women enrolled on the programme with three gaining full-time employment on completion of the six-week base camp. Their commitment, participation and engagement was on par with the males on the programme. So far, we have placed seven females into full-time sustainable employment in the forest industry. From our six programme intakes, we have had 17 females completing the course.”

Katelynn Hauiti was one of those. “She has always wanted to work in the industry and started her training when she was at Tolaga Bay Area School, travelling to Gisborne at 5am twice weekly to do the Gateway Programme at the Turanga Ararau Forestry Campus,” Siobhain said.

“On leaving school, she signed up on the first Generation Programme, and has been working as a QC (Quality Control). Late in 2019 she went back to her old school to give a talk to the students about her experience and what it was like to work in the industry. Katelynn, our poster girl for our 2019/2020 Generation Programme brochure, has now completed the National Certificate in Forest Operations with strands in Quality Control Level 3.”

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Source & Photo: Gisborne Herald, EWC

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