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June 25th, 2015

Celebrating excellence in the forestry industry at this year’s Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards

Close to 400 people turned out to celebrate the industry’s best at this year’s Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards held at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on June 19. “The turnout was amazing, with close to 400 forestry staff and contractors from throughout the lower South Island attending,” says Brent Apthorp, Director of the Forest Industry Engineering Association. “This compares to just over 100 (attendees) from the previous year.”

The awards night celebrates the success of those who’ve made an outstanding contribution to the forestry industry. The forestry sector plays a big part in the economic growth in the Otago and Southland areas. Over 1,300 workers are employed in the forestry, wood harvesting, timber processing and manufacturing sectors in these regions. Many more work in the wood transport, port operations, downstream processing and servicing industries.

Competenz account manager Phil Williams said the awards night was a great success for the forestry industry. “Sam Connor, who won apprentice of the year, was over the moon that he won,” he said. “Sam was previously a joinery apprentice so he was so excited to win. Trainee of the year, Mark Ludeman, has been with the same crew for 20 years and is a solid, hard worker – he never misses a day of work.”

One hundred and thirty seven trainees received National Certificates at the awards ceremony – a huge accomplishment for many of these trainees and their families.

“For many of the trainees, this is the first qualification they have ever had in their life,” Phil said. “Completing these qualifications is a big deal for them, with many of their family members and crew members attending the awards ceremony to support their achievements.”

The Southern Wood Council, with Competenz, is committed to on-the-job training and continuing to see learners in this industry reach their full potential. Local companies are excelling through on-job training to increase competitiveness, productivity and profitability in the lower South Island regions.

The Competenz team would like to thank Phil and Competenz Marketing Coordinator, Deepika Sulekh, for all the hard work they put into the awards night. Their contribution was an integral part to the night’s success.

Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards Winners

Apprentice of the Year: Sam Connor (Dave Paul Logging)
Trainee of the Year: Mark Ludeman (Roxburgh Contracting)
Training Company of the Year: Gamble Forest Harvesting
Health and Safety Award: Dennis Hayes Logging
Logistics and Transport Award: C3 Port Chalmers