Case Studies

The following case studies provide insight into the benefits that the Training and Skills Development Service has provided to organisations in the Tasmanian forest industry.

Current and potential workers in the Tasmanian forest and timber sector can access this service. Funding is available to both private and public businesses, in both the plantation and native sectors, for training courses that meet the following criteria:

  • training that is of benefit to the Tasmanian Forest and Timber Industry;
  • that is relevant to current and/or future job roles in the forestry sector;
  • and provided by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Funding can also be accessed to support the development or review of a business’ workforce development plan.

To find out more or to apply, click here

Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) is committed to using technology to leverage its current strengths and to position itself to become an even stronger and more adaptable organisation into the future. One of its key goals is to improve the efficiency of STT’s operations by ensuring its people have access to appropriate technology and are highly skilled in its use so as to successfully undertake their job activities to meet business objectives.

Drone technology is one such area which offers STT the opportunity to be at the forefront in the application of emerging technology within the forest industry. STT recently acquired a drone for use in its production and forest management activities. Key staff members have been identified to join a working group on the implementation and use of the drone for:

  • planning and assessing regeneration and fuel reduction burns
  • assessing seed crops
  • assessing potential hollow bearing trees and other visual surveys.

The University of Tasmania offered a short course in the “Understanding of drone technologies and applications” which gave STT staff foundational knowledge and practical skills to make the most of drone technology generally and the application of STT’s drone program.

“The employees that attended the course came back with knowledge of, and exposure to, a range of potential applications for this emerging technology. Of specific interest was the thermal imaging, importance of a fit-for-purpose platform and potential to do quantity surveys on assets such as quarry stockpiles. While we may not implement the technology directly in-house, it has given some staff a perspective on options for remote sensing that could be potentially contracted in. The course also highlighted that the technology is currently focused on fields and agriculture, with limited forays into the forested environment. In this respect our practitioners have an opportunity to lead UAV application development and courses like these provide background knowledge to do so” said a spokesperson for STT.

Adrian Walls was one of STT’s staff selected to attend the course and he had this to say about his experience, “this course has given me a good understanding and knowledge of all the aspects required to use a drone to capture aerial imagery for our business. It has supplied reference material, contacts and recommended software and procedures, which will improve the quality of our product.”

STT agreed that participation in the Training and Skills Development Service (TSDS) resulted in an improvement to their employees’ work practices and skills, while causing minimal disruption to normal work practices. Overall, STT were very satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program and are likely to undertake further training.

Norske Skog Paper Mills (Australia) Ltd is a large employer in the paper making industry with its own forest management division.

The forest management division identified that drone technology could provide their personnel with the ability to monitor forest health and growth across a large area of land, more efficiently than the current labour intensive approach, and in a much safer manner than risking injury from traversing hazardous ground that occurs within a forest environment.

The TerraLuma research group at the University of Tasmania held an intensive “Understanding of drone technologies and applications” course, in a face-to-face lecture-based environment that provided a strong foundation in remote sensing, specifically for drone applications, as well as practical skills needed to make the most of the latest advances in drone technology.

“I now have a better understanding of the current state of development of drone technology and how it is being employed across a range of industries and more particularly how other forest management organisations are utilising the technology,” said participant Peter McLoughlin, the Forest Information Specialist at Norske Skog.

The training has been of benefit not only to Peter, but to his colleagues as well. “The skills developed by the participant have been shared with other employees and raised the profile of this technology and its potential benefits to the organisation,” said Sandra Hetherington, the Softwood Procurement Team Leader.

Sandra suggested that improvements could be made in the way individuals or organisations apply for funding and found that there were too many forms and documents to be completed to make it worthwhile for only a small number of employees to attend a short training course. Sandra’s suggestion was an express option for training courses under $1,000, which has been raised with, and is under consideration by, the TSDS Project Team.

Norske Skog agreed that participation in the TSDS program has resulted in an improvement in their employees’ work practices. They strongly agreed that the training provided value for money whilst causing minimal delays to normal work practices and that the training provided by University of Tasmania met their expectations. Overall Norske Skog were satisfied with their involvement in the Training and Skills Development Service and are likely to undertake further training.

2017 has been the busiest year on record for training at Forest Practices Authority (FPA), with an unprecedented number of courses being offered – many of which are over-subscribed. In April 2017, the FPA successfully bid for $133,750 of funding from the Tasmanian Skills Development Service, which is administered by ForestWorks. The funding covered 80% of the cost for training somebody in Tasmanian forest practices system, which was much appreciated by the participants.

 Eagle Management Course

Jason Wiersma ran the Eagle Management Course in June, with one class-based day and one field day (which was offered in both the north and south of the state). Feedback has been very positive from the 34 learners, who were from the following organisations:

  • Sustainable Timber Tasmania – 17 learners
  • Technical Forest Services – 3 learners
  • Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tasmania) – 3 learners
  • Forico – 2 learners
  • Technical Fire Service – 2 learners
  • City of Launceston – 2 learners
  • PF Olsen – 2 learners
  • Pentarch – 1 learner
  • Timberlands – 1 learner
  • Forest Practices Authority Board – 1 learner

 Forest Practices Officer Training Course

The Forest Practices Officer Training Course included two class-based every month, a four-day biodiversity course in September, and various field trips to the forest. There were 21 participants:

  • Sustainable Timber Tasmania 11
  • Forico – 3 learners
  • Technical Forest Services – 2 learners
  • Pentarch – 1 learner
  • PF Olsen – 1 learner
  • Timberlands – 1 learner
  • Tasmania Training and Safety Services – 1 learner
  • Self employed – 1 learner

Mick Rawlings is one of the learners currently undertaking the FPO course and he agreed that the training organisation is flexible enough to meet the learner’s needs and that the trainers possess good knowledge and experience of the industry. He believes they are effective in their training delivery; however they can get too technical at times. Mick undertook the course for personal development and commented that it “was a good course and I would recommend it to others in our industry”.

 

Images: Forest Practices Officer Training Course

Arbre Forest Industries Training & Careers Hub Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation created by industry leaders to promote careers within the Tasmanian timber and forest industry. Arbre’s primary function is to capture any interest in the industry, then offer a pre-employment training program to cater for that interest.

The availability of the Training and Skills Development Service fund allowed Arbre to seek funding for a purpose-built, pre-employment pilot program called FIVE + 5. The pilot program was delivered over 2 weeks, with the units delivered adjusted to best suit the interests of the course participants. The idea was to contextualize further programs for different sectors, based off the success of the pilot.

Eight prospective industry employees undertook the FIVE + 5 program, delivered by Timber Training Creswick. Of the 8 places approved, 7 were filled and 4 learners went through to completion and directly into employment as a result of the course. Of the 3 learners that withdrew from the course, 2 left for casual employment and 1 left for reasons unknown.

Jack Lawton was one of the FIVE + 5 learners. The program “very much fulfilled my expectations on what to expect when I enter a sawmill. Everything covered in the course gave me a very good grounding in the day to day tasks expected of me,” said Jack.

Not only did the learners consider the course beneficial, so did the company who went on to employ 4 of those learners, Neville Smith Forest Products (NSFP).

“This course has enabled NSFP to fill much needed positions in production with job hardened candidates. It also has given NSFP a good look at employees in our work environment,” said Jason Crick, Production Manager, NSFP, who went on to employ the 4 completed learners.

Colin McCulloch, Project Manager of Arbre Hub, strongly agreed that participation in the TSDS program resulted in improvement to learners” work practices and skills, whilst causing minimal disruption to normal work practices. Overall, he was very satisfied with his involvement in the TSDS program and is likely to undertake further training.

Casegrande Lumber Pty Ltd is a large employer in the harvesting and haulage business and part of the Kevin Morgan Group.

Working with TasTAFE Burnie, Casegrande identified that 12 of their employees and sub-contractors required assessment in Excavator Harvesting so they could perform their job function of loading and unloading log trucks safely and maintain compliance under the Tasmanian Forest Safety Code 2007.

The availability of the TSDS fund “allowed a group of truck drivers to be assessed at one time, which has been of great benefit to us,” said Paul Morgan, Director, Casegrande Lumber Pty Ltd.

“fund has ensured that all operators and sub-contractors entering our coupes have the required qualifications as per the Forest Safety Code,” said Paul.

All drivers entering Casegrande coupes can now load their own trucks safely.

Casegrande agreed that participation in the TSDS program has resulted in an improvement in their employees’ work practices and skills, while causing minimal disruption to normal work practices. They agreed that the training provided value for money and that the training provided by TasTAFE Burnie met their expectations. Overall, Casegrande were satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program and are likely to undertake further training.

Bramich Bulldozing Pty Ltd operate in the forest growing and management sector of the Tasmanian Timber and Forest Industry.

Working with TasTAFE Burnie, they identified that one of their employees required training in Bush Fire Evaluation so he could perform his job function safely and maintain compliance under the Tasmanian Forest Safety Code 2007.

The availability of the TSDS fund supported the employee to become “qualified to work for our clients,” said Hollie Bramich of Bramich Bulldozing Pty Ltd. Nathan Edwards, Bramich Bulldozing employee, said the training improved his knowledge.

Bramich Bulldozing said participation in the TSDS program resulted in an improvement to their employee’s work practices and skills, while causing minimal disruption to normal work practices. They agreed that the training provided value for money and that the training provided by TasTAFE Burnie met their expectations. Overall Bramich Bulldozing were satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program and are likely to undertake further training.

SD Groves Earthmoving Ltd is a civil earthmoving business operating in the harvesting and haulage sector.

They identified that one of their employees needed assessment in using a chainsaw, so they took the opportunity to apply for Training and Skills Development Service funding to ensure their employee could safely perform his job function and maintain compliance under the Tasmanian Forest Safety Code 2007.

“My skills are now recognized with a formal qualification,” Wayne Gillam, of SD Groves was pleased to note.

SD Groves Earthmoving Pty Ltd said participation in the TSDS program resulted in an improvement to their employee’s work practices and that the program met their needs in terms of improving their employee’s skills. They also agreed that the training provided value for money whilst causing minimal disruption to normal work practices and that the training provided by TasTAFE met their expectations. Overall SD Groves Earthmoving Pty Ltd were satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program.

An employee of Artec Group was involved in a workplace incident which highlighted the need for the employee to receive urgent ‘one-on-one’ training to ensure he could carry out his duties to a safe and acceptable standard.

The incident was of a serious nature and required both medical attention and follow up from Workplace Standards.

The availability of the Training and Skills Development Service (TSDS) fund allowed Artec Group to seek funding for this training to occur. The funding was sought and approved in a rapid timeframe to ensure there were no delays to the training delivery.

“This was a benefit to the business as it was a requirement of Worksafe Tasmania and being able to access this fund as a business enabled us to speed up the outcome,” said Kevin Rowbottom, Harvesting Manager, Artec Group.

The employee involved was glad to have received the training, stating it “allowed me to continue to do my job confidently”.

Artec Group agreed that participation in TSDS resulted in an improvement in their employee’s work practices and skills, whilst causing minimal disruption to normal work practices. Overall, Artec Group were very satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program and are likely to undertake further training.

Orana Enterprises is an employer in the harvesting and haulage sector, based in Riverside, Launceston.

Orana Enterprises identified that three of their employees required assessment in Fire Weather Evaluation and Trim and Cut Harvested Trees. Partnering with TasTAFE Burnie, Orana Enterprises were able apply for Training and Skills Development Service (TSDS funding to ensure these 3 employees were able to perform their job safely.

“Non core work can now be achieved without interrupting production,” said Phil Triffitt, Business Manger at Orana Enterprises.

The training has been of benefit not only to the business but to the employees as well. Kye Clark, one of the learners said he was please to get trained in chainsaw in order to effectively do his work.

Orana Enterprises agreed that participation in the TSDS program resulted in an improvement in their employees’ work practices and strongly agreed it met their needs in terms of improving employees’ skills. They agreed that the training provided value for money, whilst causing minimal delays to normal work practices and strongly agreed that the training provided by TasTAFE Burnie met their expectations. Overall, Orana Enterprises were very satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program and are likely to undertake further training.

Four Seasons Forest Services is a small employer in the forest growing and management sector, based in Yolla, northwestern Tasmania.

Four Seasons Forest Services was contracted to Forico to rehabilitate streamside reserves, to ensure that they meet industry standards under the Tasmanian Forest Safety Code 2007 and were compliant with Forico’s forest practices plans. Four Seasons Forest Services sought funding support through the Training and Skills Development Service (TSDS) to get 6 of their employees’ chainsaw skills upgraded to the intermediate level.

Partnering with Forest Industries Skills Training (FIST), Four Seasons Forest Services up-skilled their 6 employees by supporting them to complete FPIFGM3212 – Fall trees manually (intermediate).

It was discovered that one of the employees did not have the pre-requisite chainsaw training so FIST were able to submit a change request and get approval to add this additional unit to the project. The level of flexibility within the TSDS program is important to ensure learners get all the training that they require.

“It was great to be able to upskill our employees. This will help our business grow,” said Tim Willcox, Director of Four Season Forest Services.

The training has been of benefit not only to the business but to the employees as well. “I really enjoyed being able to be up-skilled,” said one of these employees.

Four Seasons Forest Services agreed that participation in TSDS resulted in an improvement in their employees’ work practices and met their needs in terms of improving employees’ skills. They strongly agreed that the training provided value for money, whilst causing minimal delays to normal work practices and that the training provided by FIST met their expectations. Overall, Four Seasons Forest Services were very satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program and are likely to undertake further training.

Forestry Tasmania is a Tasmanian Government Business Enterprise responsible under State legislation for:

  • sustainably managing approximately 800,000 hectares of public production forest (Permanent Timber Production Zone land);
  • undertaking forest operations for the production and sale of forest products from these forests (including making available at least 137,000 cubic metres of high quality eucalypt sawlogs and veneer logs per annum).

“Forestry Tasmania aims to be recognized for its sustainable forest management of Tasmania’s public production forests and as a commercially viable supplier of wood to a strong Tasmanian forest industry,” said Dion McKenzie, Forest Tasmania’s Manager, Engagement and Land Management.

The majority of Forestry Tasmania’s customers and stakeholders now require that wood products are sourced from independently certified sustainably managed forests. One of the key ways of demonstrating that forests are sustainably managed is to comply with the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (“EMS”) standard.

The availability of the Training and Skills Development Service (TSDS) fund allowed Forestry Tasmania to have one employee, Daniel Hodge, undertake ISO 14001:2015 training through the BSI group. “This training has provided the skills and knowledge that allow me to understand our organisation’s environmental management system, how it meets the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard and also see potential for its improvement,” said Daniel.

Forestry Tasmania agreed that participation in the TSDS program has resulted in an improvement in their employee’s work practices and skills while causing minimal disruption to normal work practices. Overall Forestry Tasmania were very satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program.

Forestry Tasmania is a Tasmanian Government Business Enterprise responsible under State legislation for:

  • sustainably managing approximately 800,000 hectares of public production forest (Permanent Timber Production Zone land);
  • undertaking forest operations for the production and sale of forest products from these forests (including making available at least 137,000 cubic metres of high quality eucalypt sawlogs and veneer logs per annum).

The majority of Forestry Tasmania’s customers and stakeholders now require that wood products are sourced from independently certified sustainably managed forests. One of the key ways to sustainably manage its forests and meet its legislative obligations is for Forest Tasmania to ensure appropriately trained Forest Practices Officers throughout the organisation.

The availability of the Training and Skills Development Service (TSDS) fund allowed Forestry Tasmania to have five employees, undertake Threatened Butterfly training through the Forest Practices Authority. “It will benefit me by being able to identify potential butterfly habitats for rare, threatened or endangered species as well as identify the butterflies themselves. It enables me to identify the best times to search and where to search. Even if I cannot identify the butterflies themselves it is also possible to determine the type of butterfly that may be present by other signs such as the way shelters are built,” said one employee.

“Courses provided by the Forest Practices Authority such as the Threatened Butterfly Species are important for our staff to attend in order to maintain their industry knowledge and are of huge benefit to Forestry Tasmania in undertaking its special values planning and the implementation of biodiversity provisions of the Forest Practices Code,” said Dion McKenzie, Forest Tasmania’s Manager, Engagement and Land Management.

Forestry Tasmania agreed that participation in the TSDS program has resulted in an improvement in their employee’s work practices and skills whilst causing minimal disruption to normal work practices. Overall Forestry Tasmania were very satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program.

TDF contracting operate in the forest growing and management sector of the Tasmanian Timber and Forest Industry.

Working with TasTAFE Launceston, they identified that ten of their employees required first aid training and one employee required assessment in two skills sets and one unit of competency, so they could all perform their job function safely and maintain compliance under the Tasmanian Forest Safety Code 2007.

Training and/or assessment was completed for the following units of competency:

  • Apply First Aid
  • Conduct forestry operations using a crawler tractor

Training and/or assessment was completed for the following skills sets:

  • Fire weather evaluation
  • Bush fire awareness

“Doing group training really helps with efficiency at our work place,” said Todd Frankcombe, Director of TDF Contracting. “Getting funding assistance means that we can stay compliant without being out of pocket.”

TDF Contracting agreed that participation in the TSDS program has resulted in an improvement in their employee’s work practices and skills, while causing minimal disruption to normal work practices. They strongly agreed that the training provided value for money and that the training provided by TasTAFE Launceston met their expectations whilst causing minimal disruption to normal work practices. Overall TDF Contracting were satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program and are likely to undertake further training.

Collins Contracting Pty Ltd operate in the forest growing and management sector of the Tasmanian Timber and Forest Industry.

Working with TasTAFE Burnie, they identified that three of their employees required excavator and crawler tractor training so they could perform their job function safely and maintain compliance under the Tasmanian Forest Safety Code 2007.

“Employees appreciate the training, which ensures continued work and productivity improvements for the company. We will continue to use the program,” said Leah Wells, Office Manager at Collins Contracting Pty Ltd.

Collins Contracting agreed that participation in the TSDS program has resulted in an improvement in their employee’s work practices, however they are unsure whether this has resulted in an improvement in company productivity at this stage. They strongly agree that the training caused minimal disruption to normal work practices. Collins Contracting agreed that the training provided value for money and that the training provided by TasTAFE Burnie met their expectations. Overall Collins Contracting were satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program and are likely to undertake further training.

L Wells & P Whelan operate in the harvesting and haulage sector of the Tasmanian Timber and Forest Industry.

Working with TasTAFE Burnie, they identified that one of their employees required assessment in Conducting Excavator Operations with Grabs so he could perform his job function safely and maintain compliance under the Tasmanian Forest Safety Code 2007.

Perry Whelan, Director at L Wells & P Whelan and the learner for this project, stated that it was a “great opportunity to do this important training. It ensures that I can work safely and the trainer was very good.”

L Wells & P Whelan agreed that participation in the TSDS program has resulted in an improvement in their employee’s work practices and skills while causing minimal disruption to normal work practices. They strongly agreed that the training provided value for money and that the training provided by TasTAFE Burnie met their expectations. Overall L Wells & P Whelan were satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program and are likely to undertake further training.

CMTP Pty Ltd operates in the sawmilling and processing sector of the Tasmanian Timber and Forest Industry. CMTP is committed to ensuring that its Tasmanian workforce is trained and assessed to the highest possible standards, while ensuring that all aspects of safe and compliant workplace are maintained.

Working with the RTO OnRoad OffRoad, CMTP Branxholm identified that four of their employees required forklift training.

Completing the TLILIC2001 unit of competency, demonstrated that CMTP employees are professional and highly skilled, which is a benefit not only to their business but the Tasmanian Timber and Forestry Industry as a whole.

“It was beneficial that the training was provided in the local area and funding assistance made the program high value for money,” said Dale Jessup, General Manager at CMTP.

CMTP agreed that participation in the TSDS program resulted in an improvement in their employees’ work practices and strongly agreed that it met their needs in terms of improving employees’ skills. They agreed that the training caused minimal disruption to normal work practices and strongly agreed that the training provided value for money and that the training provided by OnRoad OffRoad met their expectations. Overall, CMTP were very satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program and are likely to undertake further training.

Timberlink Australia Pty Ltd is a well-known employer operating three sawmills in regional areas across Australia and New Zealand. Timberlink have a strong focus on safety and feel their most important responsibility is returning their employees home safely, every day.

Working with TasTAFE, Timberlink’s Bell Bay mill identified that eight of their employees required training and assessment in ‘Contribute to WHS hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control’ – BSBWHS404.

The training demonstrates that Timberlink employees are professional and highly skilled, which is a benefit not only to their business but the Tasmanian Timber and Forestry Industry as a whole.

“Giving our leaders within the business the ability to identify risks and hazards within their work areas is creating a safer workplace,” said Corrie Shipton, WHSE and Compliance Coordinator at Timberlink.

Timberlink strongly agreed that participation in the TSDS program has resulted in an improvement in their employees’ work practices and skills and agreed that this training caused minimal disruption to normal work practices. They strongly agreed that the training provided value for money and that the training provided by TasTAFE met their expectations. Overall, Timberlink were very satisfied with their involvement in the TSDS program and are likely to undertake further training.