Building a Forest and Timber Industry Workforce for the Future

News release | 25-May-2017

Educating young Queenslanders about career opportunities in the forest industry is one of the key strategies behind the Queensland Forest and Timber Workforce Development Plan.

One of the main goals of the plan, developed by industry with assistance from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), is to promote the forest and timber industry to job-seekers and the broader community as a long term career option.

“The Queensland forest and timber industry employs around 10,000 people and, across the value chain, contributes about $3.2 billion to Queensland's economy, especially in rural and regional communities,” DAF Forestry Director Barry Underhill said.

“The plan has been developed alongside industry to help build capacity to meet anticipated workforce needs.

“The forest and timber industry has a mature and experienced workforce and this initiative is about promoting opportunities to a new, younger generation to meet future industry demand.

“It also targets improvements in long term skill and career development including enhancing management skills to improve workplace health and safety, and encouraging employers and workers to take up training opportunities that are relevant to the industry’s needs.

“The practical and achievable initiatives outlined in the plan are designed to promote a productive and competitive forest and timber industry that continues to deliver benefits to Queensland.”

The Timber and Building Materials Association (TABMA) was awarded the industry workforce development project as the result of a competitive public tender process and will be responsible for developing and implementing the plan.

“Our extensive one-on-one consultations with business owners and managers highlighted several common challenges to the ongoing capability and growth of the industry, including a lack of industry awareness by the general public, attracting and retaining skilled workers, an ageing workforce and existing workforce management and development,” Queensland State Manager for TABMA Alicia Oelkers said.

“By working together to address critical challenges faced by the industry today, we will enhance the long-term availability of a skilled forest and timber workforce in Queensland.”

TABMA formally released the plan to industry on May 23.

Media contact: Suellen Hinde , 3087 8577