Australasia's home for timber news and information

Labour shortage targeted by new program as timber demand rises

The union representing timber workers (CFMEU Manufacturing) has announced the start of a new targeted diversity program to induct new workers into the timber industry as labour shortages and timber demand have combined to create unexpected demand for workers. Source: Tumut and  Adelong Times

As part of the (industry skills council) Snowy Valley Skills Development Service, the project will provide the practical training that people who may not have traditionally seen a future career for themselves in the timber industry need.

That training includes completing forklift license with Ironbark Training in Wagga Wagga.

Alison Rudman from the timber workers’ union said: “We were hearing from people who were new to the industry and left quickly, that there were things that they wished they had known before they got the job that would have made it easier for them to stay. That included understanding how to move around a worksite safely, having the opportunity to undertake training with other people who might be new to this type of work and, a proper understanding of the industry structure to they could see a future.”

“We want to see more diversity in our industry workforce – including women, indigenous persons and people of colour, and our industry has a critical need for new employees – our project brings these two things together to directly benefit our industry and the local community.

“This program is designed to remove workforce barriers right from the start.

“This program will both provide the participants with entry skills and connect them with timber employers looking to hire.

“Our union is excited and proud to be launching this project in such an important timber industry hub.

“Our aim is to replicate this program nationally in the near future.”

Chair of the Snowy Valley Skills Development Service Neil Louwrens said: “Since the 2019-2020 bushfires it has been an uncertain time for the timber industry in our area. This project will build confidence of our local people looking for jobs involving timber products produced in our area. This project will also assist in the development of the next generation wanting to join the timber industry for years to come.”

Funding for Snowy Valley Skills Development Services was achieved from a successful Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund application by ForestWorks. The fund is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments.

The union is now collecting expressions of interest from program participants.

More information about the program is available by calling 1800 060 556 or at [email protected]