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ForestWorks new Snowy Valley skills program

ForestWorks has launched a new program in the Snowy Valley region called the Snowy Valley Skills Development Service. Source: Tumut and Adelong Times

The SVSDS is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Government under the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund.

ForestWorks is an industry-owned not-for-profit organisation offering services to support the skills development of the forest, wood, paper, timber and furnishing industries.

Its program was designed to provide to help with rebuilding and reskilling the forest industry, businesses, and workers recognising and adapting to new opportunities in the region, workforce development planning, skills recognition and upskilling and training.

ForestWorks recently conducted two event – one in Tumbarumba and another in Tumut – to discuss issues and needs within local industry.

SVSDS Local Area coordinator Chris Carmody said the program also provided the opportunity to connect with local industries in the area in a “round table format”.

Mr Carmody said the industry had been restructuring because of the fire and the adoption of new technology over the past two years, but with a minimum amount of training.

“The project will assist Snowy Valley forest and timber workers adjust to changing job requirements brought about by the bushfires,” he said.

“Snowy Valley forest and timber industry workers and their employers can access support to identify skills and training opportunities, undertake workforce development planning and un-dertake relevant vocational training programs provided through TAFE NSW and other training providers.”

At the Tumbarumba skills launch program eight attendees representing seven organisations dis-cussed catch-up training needed for existing workers, encouragement of local/school and cur-rent employees to train as needed and the need to sell the whole package to prospective employees.

A total of 21 people representing 13 organisations attended the Tumut skills launch program.

The topics discussed at the meeting included diversification of employees’ training needs, up skilling of current employees, focus on attracting and retaining workers and training needs to be delivered locally with minimum disruption to businesses.