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Minister’s claims of success stem from forests

The success of a multi-million-dollar government fund to boost skills stems from the experience of forestry and associated industries, according to Australia’s key forestry skills council.
Skills Minister Chris told the National Press Club the National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF) had achieved success in encouraging and enabling employers to train their staff in new skills to keep pace with changes in industry.
ForestWorks CEO Michael Hartman said: “This was certainly the experience in the industries that ForestWorks Industry Skills Council is responsible for.
“The National Workforce Development Fund has been remarkably successful in providing an extra boost to employers in the forest, wood, paper and timber industry to provide additional training for their staff,” Mr Hartman said.
ForestWorks, the forestry and associated industries key skills council, says it is well placed to judge the effectiveness of the scheme and states that they have received positive reports.
“For example, on the Mid-North Coast of NSW a NWDF collaboration has been brokered between the NSW Forest Products Association, the Port Macquarie-Hasting Forests Taskforce and ForestWorks.
“A funding injection of $106,000 was obtained from the fund and this, along with the employer’s contribution, was put toward training and workforce development in the forest
and timber products industry.
“To date, a total of 90 learners from 12 businesses have benefited from this one project alone by starting new training with funding from the NWDF.
“Employers are benefiting greatly from the NWDF by ensuring their workforce stays strong and productive, while workers are benefitting by gaining the skills they need to stay secure in the workforce,” Mr Hartman said.
“The Minister is correct in pointing to the success of the NWDF and the Federal
Government should continue to support this important program.”