April 23rd, 2014

Forestry Apprenticeships Update

As part of Government reforms to industry training, the Modern Apprenticeships programme and other apprenticeship-type training programmes were replaced by a single nationwide scheme called New Zealand Apprenticeships. This came into effect on 1 January 2014.

We are pleased to advise that enrolment into our Forestry apprenticeships is available again now that we have aligned our apprenticeship programmes with the new scheme. The key change is that there are now no age restrictions, i.e. a worker can enter an apprenticeship at any age. This means that older people with previous forestry experience can also be enrolled as apprentices.

Each Competenz forestry apprenticeship (listed below) can now be undertaken over a normal duration (the average expected duration period for novice apprenticeships is around four years) or under a “fast-tracked” shorter duration timeframe for those workers with previous experience. Silviculture The updated New Zealand Apprenticeship rules also specified a higher threshold for achievement to a Level 4 qualification.  

As a result, Competenz has reluctantly withdrawn its Silviculture apprenticeships as the programme was not able to meet the new criteria. However, Competenz still offers training support for Silviculture via enrolment in the normal National Certificate programs. Harvesting Currently there are restrictions that prevent Competenz from signing trainees into more than one National Certificate programme at any one time. Our New Zealand apprenticeship programme allows the achievement of level 3 and level 4 qualifications in multiple tasks recognising that many harvesting workers carry out more than one role within a crew. Competenz would like to confirm the following forestry apprenticeship programmes:

  • Head Breaker-out
  • Log Making and Head Breaker-out
  • Machine Operation Log Extraction and Mechanised Processing
  • Machine Operation Log Extraction and Mechanised Tree Felling
  • Machine Operation Log Extraction and Production Tree Felling
  • Machine Operations Hauler and Head Breaker-out
  • Machine Operations Hauler and Log Making
  • Machine Operations Hauler and Machine Operations Loader
  • Machine Operations Loader and Log Making
  • Machine Operations Log Extraction and Log Making
  • Machine Operations Log Extraction and Machine Operations Loader
  • Mechanised Processing and Log Making
  • Mechanised Processing and Machine Operations Loader
  • Mechanised Processing and Mechanised Tree Felling
  • Mechanised Tree Felling and Machine Operations Loader
  • Production Tree Felling
  • Production Tree Felling and Head Breaker-out
  • Production Tree Felling and Log Making

Competenz is also pleased to confirm that applications are still being accepted for the government’s Apprenticeship “Reboot” subsidy initiative. To lift participation in apprenticeships, new forestry apprentices and employers who are signed up before 30 June 2014 will be able to apply for a $1,000 subsidy each towards the cost of tools and off-job course costs.

To be eligible apprentices must have signed a new industry training agreement commencing between 6 March 2013 and 30 June 2014 and have been actively training for at least 90 days (other eligibility criteria apply). With the current pricing of a forestry apprenticeship ranging between $1,800 and $2,200 (depending on which apprenticeship programme chosen) we are encouraging our clients and apprentices to take advantage of the scheme while it still exists.

For further information on the Reboot subsidy we recommend employers visit the Tertiary Education Commission’s webpage for  the information sheet and an application form.  

Competenz Service Commitment As part of the Competenz apprenticeship, the employer and apprentice will be visited on site by Competenz every quarter and all of our forestry apprentices will continue to be given priority for training courses and workshops. For more information please contact your local Forestry Account Manager or phone 0800 526 1800 and select “Forestry”.