Students get a taste of forest industry

Arbre commenced the first School Forestry Work Experience Program (Pilot) on Monday 23rd May 2022 in the Launceston region.

Brooks High School, Kings Meadows High School, Launceston Big Picture School, Riverside High School and St Patrick’s College participated in the program, which was supported by local employers, Casagrande Lumber Pty Ltd, CJD Equipment Pty Ltd, Komatsu Forest Pty Ltd, Les Walkden Enterprises, MechLog, Neville Smith Forest Products, Orana Enterprises, RDO Equipment Pty Ltd, Reliance Forest Fibre, Sustainable Timber Tasmania, Technical Forest Services, Timberlands Pacific, Timberlink Australia and Waratah Forestry Equipment


Arbre Careers Advisor Sam Hall with Forestry Work Experience students, Keiam Wynter, Brielle Banks, Logan Gissell, Joey Davies and Seth Perry. Picture: Paul Scambler

Pilot work experience program launched

WORK experience for high school students can now include forest industries.

On Monday, Arbre Forest Industries Training and Careers Hub started their first ever work experience program. Launceston will be the first area to engage this program before launching across Tasmania over the next two years.

Hub manager Denise DeBattista said they would often get new people into the industry by word of mouth, this new program gives more young people an introduction into the industry. “We decided to show students in a work experience environment the different sectors of the industry,” she said. “We’re an ageing workforce and we need to get younger generations into the industry.”

Arbre was created six years ago specifically to promote jobs in the forestry industry. In the past, Arbre had a school based apprenticeship program but decided to launch a work experience program to engage young people in school.

“This is a taster program, it’s three days and three different sectors they will visit to give them an idea and understanding of the industry,” Ms DeBattista said.

Ms DeBattista said the program came about from seeing other industries offer work experience.

“We decided as an industry to create a program to get students through to see the different sectors,” she said. “It’s been very ad hoc in the past, occasionally an employer may take on somebody because they have a child at a school where someone has requested to do work experience.”

Brielle Banks, 16, from Kings Meadows High School said she was keen to learn about multiple industries and businesses. Brielle said she applied for the placement to learn more about the forestry industry. “I’m interested in learning the different things that you actually do in it, and what’s included,” she said.

Areas will include forest growing and management, silviculture, harvest and haulage, sawmilling and processing and mechanical areas.

Five schools are involved in the pilot program, including Brooks High School, Kings Meadows High School, Launceston Big Picture School, Riverside High School and St Patrick’s College. Students applied to the program and required an endorsement from a teacher.

“What we are after are people who are genuinely interested in the industry,” Ms DeBattista said.

There are 14 students from the schools, going to 14 different employers involved in the program. Each student will visit three different employers to see different areas of the industry over their three days of work experience.

Arbre is interested in future support from industry employers and any enquiries regarding this program can be directed to or Denise DeBattista on 0419 130 557.