Thursday 8 June 2023
Committee for the Future of Forestry Education
To address the skills shortages in the forestry sector and the need for innovative and collaborative solutions to training and tertiary education, the Committee for the Future of Forestry Education (COFFE) has developed a proposal for a Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma in Forestry programs.
It is proposed that the University of Tasmania will coordinate the program and this innovative collaboration model will see different units delivered by different institutions including Southern Cross University, Australian National University, Melbourne University, University of South Australia, University of the Sunshine Coast and University of Tasmania.
The move is a result of a meeting held at Forestry Australia’s Symposium in Albury last year, at which university representatives discussed the issue of education and skills shortages in the sector. The group was expanded, forming COFFE, and now comprises universities, commercial forest growers, AFPA’s HR Committee, ForestWorks, ForestLearning and Forestry Australia.
Forestry Australia’s CEO Jacquie Martin said the lack of opportunities to study forestry at university is resulting in a skill shortage which is impacting the forestry profession, the forestry sector, and the future of forest management in Australia.
“Forest growers are recruiting graduates with environmental science or agriculture qualifications, as they are well-qualified in their field, but they lack some specialist forestry knowledge and skills,” Ms. Martin said.
“It is hoped this innovative and collaborative program will address these challenges by allowing those with environmental science or agriculture qualifications to ‘top up’ or extend their skills into the area of forestry and provide a pathway for people who are seeking a career in forestry.”
The Graduate Certificate will include an Introduction to Forestry and the Forest Sector; Forest Planning and Operations; Carbon Forestry; and Plantation Silviculture. It is hoped that the first unit will be open for enrolment in 2024.
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