Forest industry needs more highly trained people

One of the biggest challenges in our industry is ensuring that we have the right people trained to do the jobs

Derek Nighbor is CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC).

Derek Nighbor

Growing up in the Ottawa Valley, I appreciated from a young age the importance of the forest sector to our local economy. My brother and I were fortunate enough to earn good money in the summer on the same corrugated box making factory floor where my grandfather and father earned their livelihoods.

Years later, as the CEO of the national forest products association and after seeing significant innovation and transformation across the industry, I am reminded that forest sector jobs continue to be rewarding and good-paying jobs in some 200 forest communities across Canada.

With more than 230,000 direct forestry jobs in Canada today, we continue to see opportunities on the horizon for young and more experienced workers in a host of job areas in forest operations, at mills, head offices and in the design, marketing and manufacturing of innovative forest products.

These jobs are not just supporting families and local economies, but they are also green jobs – bringing real benefit to the environment for all of us through sustainable forest management and the creation of environmentally friendly, forest-sourced products.

One of the biggest labour challenges in our industry today is ensuring that we have the right people trained to do the jobs that are going to be in demand not only today, but tomorrow. Forest Products Association of Canada’s launch in June of our new job-matching tool with the Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce and Labour, will be a critical tool to support matching job hunters with job opportunities.

This new tool (thegreenestworkforce.ca), which is free for both employment seekers and employers will not only support those looking for work in the forest sector, but it will also provide advanced labour market information that can be used to help forestry companies with their recruitment efforts, allow governments to develop public policies to better address employment needs, and support our high schools, colleges and universities by  informing students about the career opportunities that exist in Canada’s forest sector. It will also promote the Canadian industry’s world-leading track record of environmental sustainability.

One of the things that has dramatically changed since my summer stints on the plant floor in Pembroke, Ontario is the technological transformation. From the sophisticated software that helps run everything from our mills to our back-end delivery systems to the innovative new uses for wood products (clothing, cosmetics and even parts for the interior of your car) to the various technologies that help us maintain our sustainable forestry models and practices, the images of the traditional lumberjack are more than a little outdated.

Today’s modern forestry operations are looking for engineers, computer scientists, biologists, mill operators, environmental scientists, and specialists in human resources, communications, the law, accounting and finance.

And yes, forestry companies will always need foresters and loggers too.

Canada’s forest sector will continue to innovate and transform in the years to come and will continue to remain the lifeblood of communities across the country. Our hope is that this new job-matching tool will help even more Canadians find quality, good-paying jobs in the forest sector.

 

Just Posted

Editor, The Times:

District of Clearwater invites local organizations to participate in Hockey Days

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

The wondrous benefits of canine therapy

Molly the dog has undergone extensive training so she can bring joy and healing to those she visits

Clearwater RCMP calls see slight decrease

Calls to the RCMP last year came in at 1,931 with 2017’s total calls for service coming in at 1,980

Clearwater band donates album proceeds to charity

Cal’s Cool Cats record first CD A Backward Glance

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Vancouver councillors unanimously approve motion declaring climate emergency

Vancouver joins cities like Los Angeles and London

Caribou herd disappears from Kootenays after last cow relocated

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Most Read