Mount Hutt College students experience the world of forestry


07 July 2015

In early June, Year 11 and Year 12 students from Mount Hutt College’s Trades Academy class saw first-hand how the forestry industry plays an important part in the Canterbury region. Seventeen students with their teacher Fiona Jessep and Competenz account manager Phil Williams explored the world of forestry with Cable Logging Geraldine – a hauler crew in the Geraldine forest.

Supervisor Nick Henderson from Blakely Pacific (the Geraldine forest owner), was keen to show the students around the forestry sites. The students spent the morning on an old skid site where they had a safety briefing, another forestry site where they could observe the hauler at work, and got a close look at the machinery used by the hauler crew.

“The students got to see how the whole operation works and trees being hauled up the side of the hill,” says Phil Williams. “They all found the whole process quite impressive and were engaged in all the activities.

“One of the students is very keen on a forestry career and a couple more students were going to enquire further into the forestry industry after the visit.”

The students used this trip to go towards the forestry unit standards they are currently doing through Competenz. Teacher in Charge of Agriculture Fiona Jessep saw the visit as a great opportunity for the students to experience what it’s like to work in the forestry industry.

“The students are currently doing unit standard 22997 - Demonstrate knowledge of principles of commercial forestry,” says Fiona. “The visit was a good opportunity for the students to learn about quality logging and harvest cycles which are covered in this unit standard.

“The students could see that they could end up in positions like Nick and Phil and that they can work their way up in the industry into management positions. This is the first time the Trades Academy has done this trip and I would like to repeat this in future years.”

Currently, the Cable Logging Geraldine crew have a Gateway student who does work experience every Friday. Another local Blakely Pacific crew, Gillion Logging from Waikouaiti also has a Gateway student.

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