Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry
Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development
Over 160 workers have been referred to forestry employers as part of a push to support the 2019 planting season, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says.
With an estimated 80 million trees to be planted this season, Ministers asked Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) and the Ministry for Social Development to ensure they were working together with industry to help meet the labour needs for the 2019 planting season.
The campaign includes promoting the silviculture industry to job seekers and promoting MSD services for employers to fill vacancies.
Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni says, this Government is committed to upskilling and training people on benefit for industries where there are labour shortages.
“Over 300 MSD clients have been placed into forestry roles across the industry in the last year and we are committed to ensuring that more clients have access to opportunities in the industry through this targeted tree planting initiative ,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“With 125 people placed in planting jobs as a result of this campaign, we are well on the way to meet the growing labour needs,” Shane Jones said.
“On top of this, six people in Hawkes Bay who are unemployed and serving community service sentences have been connected with employers in the region.
“It’s not just about numbers though, it’s also about upskilling our rangatahi and supporting them to contribute to a trained, safe workforce in planting, thinning, pruning and harvesting.
“Through the One Billion Trees Programme we are supporting training initiatives across the country that will help build a sustainable, domestic workforce in the coming years.
“The success of a forestry training pilot to upskill young workers in Te Tairāwhiti – Gisborne is a great example of this work – with 8 rangatahi now in full-time employment.
“On top of this, a workplace pilot jointly developed by Te Uru Rakau and the Department of Corrections, is underway and providing forestry training and work experience for up to 15 prisoners in Northland who will support them to be work ready on release.
“These initiatives are key to supporting a vibrant forestry sector and creating real training and job opportunities in the regions.
“With the additional funding being delivered through the Wellbeing Budget, Te Uru Rākau will now be able to place an even greater focus on workforce development,” Shane Jones said.