Muka Tangata, the Workforce Development Council for the food and fibre sector, is seeking feedback on streamlined new qualifications for forestry industry workers.
Muka Tangata has been working with the industry on the development of a full suite of forestry qualifications since June 2023.
The existing delivery and assessment of forestry qualifications are not meeting industry or learner needs and the industry also struggles to attract people in the sector.
Muka Tangata chief executive Jeremy Baker said ensuring the qualifications are more compatible with ākonga (learner) development will provide clear pathways in the industry.
“Having a fit-for-purpose, flexible and future-proof suite of qualifications for the forestry industry will ensure ākonga are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attributes to succeed.
“The review will streamline qualifications and standards creating greater learning opportunities and pathways for ākonga to progress.”
The review covers the entire suite of qualifications, levels 2-6.
As part of this review, Muka Tangata is now seeking feedback on proposed new qualifications for Level 2 – the New Zealand Certificate in Forest Industry Foundation Skills. Consultation has been extended to November 10.
The proposed Level 2 qualifications have been developed in collaboration with industry representatives.
Fast Harvesting’s Mereana Tobenhouse said she has found the process smooth and feels positive about the outcomes.
“Muka Tangata has spread the net widely across the forestry industry to engage and shown a real willingness to push out the information and to help.
“Having a clear process and pathways for learners is important as well as the flexibility for them to change and move to other parts of the industry.”
Contract moderator and assessor Steven Harrison said the review process has opened the opportunity for a lot of people to share their thoughts.
“It’s good in a lot of ways and Muka Tangata has made an excellent starting point. I think the proposed Level 2 qualifications will be an improvement in the long run.
“But there is still a cohort of people in the industry that we need to reach, those workers out there on the ground who have absolutely brilliant practical skills but don’t have academic skills. We need to hear their voice and value their skills.”
Muka Tangata has also recently submitted a new “micro-credential” for log scaling so the industry can access and attain relevant and manageable awards.
The micro-credential will recognise the skills for workers in log scaling and will sit at Level 4 of the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework.
Since October 2022 Muka Tangata has also been working with the industry to design and develop a new qualification at Level 5 to recognise business, leadership and communication skills at a higher level.