03 August 2016
For Jasmine Kuru, working in the forest is in her blood. She started out with Kuru Contracting, her parents’ business, when she was just 16 years old. Since then, this busy forestry worker has completed her Modern Apprenticeship in Log Making, completed the National Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety (Level 3) and is currently enrolled in the Level 4 Forest Operations Advanced Mechanised Processing program. She also recently won the title of Apprentice of the Year at the Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards, and has just bought her first house.
But not everything was smooth sailing for the focused 21-year-old.
“I left school in 2012, and was unsure what the future had in store for me. I received a pair of orange spiked forestry gumboots for my sixteenth birthday, and decided to try working for the family business. I was so nervous and excited I didn’t know what to expect. I was a little bit apprehensive at first as I wanted to be in the police force, but after a couple of weeks in the bush, I realised that my heart was set for the forestry industry.
"When l met Cliff Stoddart from Competenz, he explained to me how an apprenticeship worked, and l signed up. It’s not easy being a young woman in the forest, surrounded by men, and being the boss’s daughter, I felt l had a lot to prove.
"I pushed myself to be the best l could be, by putting all my energy into my training and qualifying to be a skilled forestry worker.”
And that hard work paid off when she was announced Apprentice of the Year at the Eastland Wood Council Awards in May this year.
“I was so overwhelmed when they called my name. There were a lot of amazing candidates for this award, and I feel so honoured to have won. Completing my apprenticeship has inspired me to go on and share my knowledge with my fellow workers in the industry. I am now encouraging and training young trainees, sharing my knowledge, in the hope of attracting them into the forestry industry.”
When asked what advice she would give to her 16-year-old self, Jasmine says, “I wouldn’t change a thing. I have been proudly following in the footsteps of my Dad and Poppa. I am the foreman and health and safety officer at my company, which means I am here to protect my workers. I own my own home, I enjoy being able to work with whanau and meet new people, and I can’t wait until the day I take over the family business.”
Jasmine is Got a Trade Future Business Leader.
Got a Trade? Got it Made! is a national campaign to raise awareness of on-the-job training and careers in New Zealand’s trades and services. It also celebrates the talents and achievements of young people making headway in their chosen vocation.