People, community and communication are at the centre of the forest industry Diversity Action Plan (DAP). The GREAT Outcomes of the plan are focused on: Growing our People through education and training; Respect of and respect from our community; Equity and Inclusion for our current and future people; Authentic Leadership of our people by our people, and Teamwork and Partnerships between our people and our community.
The launch of the DAP at the TFFPN Forum highlighted how important these themes are for the entire industry, whether it is growth, investment or innovation. Brodie Frost, the Chair of the Workforce Development and Diversity Reference Group in launching the Diversity Action Plan noted
“This DAP is enabled by a 2021 commitment from the state government through $300,000 funding over two years. This is an industry led and developed plan with the goal of enabling and supporting a diverse workforce.”
Brodie Frost, Chair of Reference Group
In 2021 the network launched The Forest Industry Workforce Development Plan. An industry working group delivered a strong and clear plan that details four key goals relating to career and education pathways, workplace diversity and industry promotion, attraction and retention. Brodie noted, “These goals have obvious correlations with diversity so it was decided that the development of a diversity action plan and the delivery of the existing workforce development plan goals would be progressed by the one working group and Project Manager.”
“The reference group that supported the development of the DAP and the implementation of both plans is representative of the broad industry, and more importantly, there is active participation of stakeholders from outside of the industry. The energy, commitment, and collaboration that this group has shown in developing the DAP is truly a proof-of-concept for what a diverse group can achieve” noted Brodie.
The launch also detailed the strong business case for diversity and inclusion in any workforce. There are many benefits to businesses and industries that embrace diverse and inclusive workforces that include;
- an ability to attract and retain skilled workers,
- better innovation,
- improved worker mental health outcomes and
- increased organisational financial performance.
A company’s reputation may also be boosted by them promoting a diverse workforce that is representative of the community.
The final panel for the day asked the question “Without people, we don’t have an industry: how do we attract and retain the right workforce for the future?” There were many interesting, thought-provoking and well-articulated responses to this question from the six panel members. Some of the key discussions are activities identified in both the Workforce Development Plan and the DAP, such as improved understanding of careers for the forest industry, improving opportunities for workforce diversity, in particular engaging women, Aboriginal Tasmanians and young people.
Now the Workforce Development and Diversity project is moving into implementation phase of the DAP and the Workforce Development Plan, we have the next year to put in place projects, frameworks and materials to support our workforce of the future. Workforce development, diversity and inclusion is everyone’s responsibility. How are you going to be involved?
Find the DAP at Diversity Action Plan – Tasmanian Forest and Forest Products Network (tffpn.com.au) and the Workforce Development Plan at Workforce Development Plan – Tasmanian Forest and Forest Products Network (tffpn.com.au).
Contact Tracey at Tracey.Taylor@tffpn.com.au