Tasmania’s biggest private plantation forest manager, Forico, will soon welcome a new Cadet Forester to the team, continuing its effort to provide pathways into the forestry industry for Tasmanian school students.

Launceston based Hayden Crook will begin his Certificate II in Forest Growing and Management tomorrow, undertaking a school-based apprenticeship which will provide experience in all areas of the business, from plantation and harvesting, to tree improvement and fire management.

A collaboration with Arbre Forest Industries Training & Careers Hub, a not-for-profit organisation to provide industry training and promote the forest industry and related jobs, the Cadet Foresters Program aims to pursue job opportunities and provide pathways for students interested in forest stewardship as a career.

Bryan Hayes, outgoing Arbre Hub Chair and CEO of Forico, said the program is a great way to bring young Tasmanians into the industry and provide real on-the-job training for students who have a keen interest in environmental management and the wise use of natural resources.

“Particularly for students who have been exposed to school forestry educational material provided by the Forest Education Foundation, this program offers a pathway into the thriving industry,” Mr Hayes said.

“We also have the opportunity to employ the student on a full-time basis at the end of year 12, by which stage they already have a great understanding of our culture, expectations and on-going upskilling opportunities,” he said.

Last year’s school-based apprentice, Rosanne Champion, has been offered a full-time traineeship at the company and will complete her Certificate IV in Forest Operations over the next two years.

Ms Champion, based in north-west Tasmania, said the Cadet Forester Program was an important stepping stone which allowed her to complete her schooling while gaining real skills and experience within the forest industry.

“I have always had an interest in the bush, agriculture and sustainable environmental industries,” Ms Champion said.

“The cadet program allowed me the opportunity to incorporate my passions and hobbies into a viable career pathway,” she said.

“Without the program I would not have known how or where to begin looking for an opening in the forest industry and I believe I would have struggled to find a career pathway.

“I immensely enjoyed the program and am grateful I was given the opportunity to continue my career at Forico in 2020.”

The Cadet Foresters Program was introduced in a collaborative industry effort when research showed there was a lack of qualified and skilled foresters and no established pathways for students leaving year 12 to enter the industry.

Media enquiries: Georgia Doering, Timmins Ray Public Relations – 0400 957 383