Forestry job with a difference

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There are few trees in sight for forestry graduate Brandon Andrews in his first job in the industry. Working at the very end of the forestry process, Brandon is a General Hand Marshaller with port logistics company ISO Limited helping process logs ready for shipping offshore.

“It may surprise people to realise that not all forestry jobs are located out of town in the bush,” says WITT Te Pūkenga Forest Harvesting Tutor Shane Brightwell.

Brandon completed the Level 3 Forest Harvesting qualification and thanks to Shane’s industry connections he quickly secured a job with ISO Limited based at Port Taranaki.

“We had a position available, we contacted Shane and he recommended Brandon for the role,” says ISO Limited Team Leader Mere Hemara.

As part of the New Zealand Certificate in Forest Harvesting Operations (Level 3) Shane takes ākonga to Port Taranaki to see the end of the forestry process and the work involved to get logs ready for shipping overseas.

“It’s these relationships and the practical learning that really adds to our programmes and getting a job offer is icing on the cake,” says Shane.

As a general hand, Brandon gets a broad overview of the export process. Every log that goes to China is barcoded and measured and Brandon’s ability to grade logs is also called on.

“Thanks to the WITT course he has experience with grading logs so it has been easy for him to adjust to this part of the role,” says Mere.

As a general hand Brandon is exposed to many different roles and can see pathways into other jobs should he want to change in the future.

It’s an enjoyable job, I do a bit of everything. If you are into fitness, it can be a physical job, if you like machines you can do that work, there’s good variety and options,” says Brandon.

The Forestry Harvesting programme is full-time with three days a week spent learning on-site and two days a week self-directed learning hours, which can include work experience or employment within the forestry industry.

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