Forestry Trainer and Assessor Research Project

Originator/Sponsor: Te Uru Rākau – NZ Forest Services (TURNZFS)

Portfolio Managers: Fiona Windle

Status: Completed

Planned delivery date: October 2023

Lead Agency/Service Provider: Research First

Collaborating partners: TURNZFS

Primary Objective(s):

  • To investigate future solutions, specifically the degree to which the generic model of work-integrated learning is suited to the forestry and wood processing sub-sectors.
  • To provide insights into what could improve perceptions of training and assessment as a career opportunity and how these messages can be delivered. Highlight whether specific to forestry and/or wood processing or more general.
  • Explore if issues arise relating to capacity, quality, and succession in the trainer and assessor workforce.

The enabling objectives are to test the hypotheses that:

  • There are insufficient numbers of trainers and assessors across the forestry industry
  • Training and assessment are not appealing career choices within forestry and/or wood processing

and, in doing so, to provide the evidence behind effective interventions and insights into what could address trainer and assessor availability and capability, and what could improve perceptions of training and assessment as a career objective whether specific to forestry and wood processing or more generally.

  • Key themes that emerged from the research participant responses include:
    • Trainers and assessors of the forestry and wood processing industries demonstrate dedication driven by their passion for the industry and their desire to share knowledge, with some describing it as a calling.
    • The necessity for succession planning with an aging workforce, to ensure transfer of knowledge to future generations, which is particularly pronounced with the Māori community to preserve the industry’s cultural practice and heritage.
    • The value of work-based learning was expressed, providing relevant hands-on skill development and access to modern machinery that may not be available in training institutions to complement theoretical learning, while reducing the need to travel away from home. This relies on commitment by employers to prioritise in their operations.
    • Work insecurity was raised as a key challenge in regards to ensuring a full schedule for trainers and assessors when travelling across regions and the need to supplement the job with other roles. This led to the belief by some that there aren’t trainers and assessors readily available.
    • Advancement of mechanisation has reiterated the value of work-based learning and the need for trainers and assessors who are equipped with modern machinery expertise.

The report The Trainer and Assessor Landscape: Insights in Forestry and Wood Processing will inform the industry as it scopes a newly established workforce and skills leadership and governance approach, which is currently being commissioned by Food and Fibre CoVE.

The above information was current as at 15 February 2024.