Key forestry skills programmes & qualifications approved

Keren Biggs from LESH, conducting pre-assessments for entry into the current Forestry Supervisor Development Programme in Melmoth. These assessments may be extended to the newly registered Foreman qualification.

The approval of six new skills programmes and two qualifications is great news for workers and employers in the forestry industry as they provide a sound framework for upgrading key skills and competencies that will bring significant benefits for the industry. They also provide valuable opportunities for forestry workers to upgrade their skills and qualifications in a structured, relevant system, providing stepping stones for further studies that will take their careers to a higher level.

The following skills programmes were evaluated and approved by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) in September:-

Chainsaw Operator323
Aerial Chainsaw Operator336
Specialised Chainsaw Operator315
Forestry Hazard & Risk Assessor435
Forestry Incident Investigator432
Forestry SHE Representative339

The SA Qualifications Authority NQF Committee has approved the registration of the following qualifications on the NQF framework:- 

Occupational Certificate: Forestry Production Foreman496119462
Occupational Certificate: Forestry Production & Operations Foreman4240119447
Brian Windt, one of the Qualifications Development Facilitators that were instrumental in developing the Chainsaw Operator Skills programmes, conducting critical chainsaw training with Sappi management and contractor supervisors in Bulwer.

“We look forward to implementing these skills programmes and qualifications together with our registered Skills Development Providers together with our contractors and industry role players,” commented Pam Naidoo of the SA Forestry Contractors’ Association. “We continue to champion skills development in the forestry industry for the upskilling of all our contractor and stakeholder employees,” she said.

Pam said that industry representatives had made good progress in the development of three new skills programmes that would be ready for registration by the QCTO in the near future, namely:-
• Silviculture Machine Operator
• Logging Plant Operator
• Small Power Tool Operator

The experts involved in the development of Forestry Skills Programmes include representatives from the following stakeholder organisations: Sappi, Mondi, SAFCOL, FITPA, SAFCA, FSA, Husqvarna, Stihl, FPMSETA, QCTO and Nelson Mandela University.

A chainsaw operator trainee demonstrating the correct way to fell a tree (Photo courtesy KwaMahlati Training).