Navigating career growth in the forestry industry

May 1, 2024

As the forestry industry continues to evolve, individuals like John Ellery showcase how embracing change can lead to fulfilling career growth. John, a roving assessor with Ellery Contractors Ltd, based in Gisborne, reflects on his transition from a forestry apprentice to his current role. His journey offers valuable insights into the industry's dynamics and the path to success.

John's career sparked from a curiosity about the forestry sector. John was signed up as a Contract Assessor in March 2023, not long after cyclone Gabrielle and at a time when other assessor’s were stepping away due to the huge downturn in the forestry industry and pricing following this major event. Starting with groundwork like breaking out and skid work, he gradually expanded his skills to operate various machinery, eventually specialising in tether felling.

 John really put his best foot forward during a tumultuous time in the forestry industry. Account manager Steven Jones asserts that, “John took a positive and long-term view of what he wants to achieve and has in a short space of time. He built up his reputation and cliental and showcased real industriousness and perseverance. It was a time when the going was tough and the tough got going and he made every site posting a success.”

 This diverse experience laid the foundation for his transition into an assessor role, where he now imparts his wealth of knowledge to the next generation of forestry professionals.

Reflecting on his career pathway and development, John highlights the vital role of continuous learning and upskilling. "My career has mainly been in the forest industry, working inground base, hauler, and swinger crews," he shares. John emphasises the significance of upskilling and on-the-job learning to advance as an assessor, demonstrating his commitment to personal and professional growth.

With the arrival of mechanisation in the industry, John faced significant challenges, particularly in adapting to new operational setups and training methods. However, his perseverance and willingness to learn enabled him to navigate these changes successfully. "The training inside the industry needed to progress with the new machines," John remarks, emphasising the importance of continuous training and adaptation.

Throughout his journey, Competenz has been a steadfast partner, providing support and guidance at every step. John acknowledges the pivotal role of individuals like Competenz Account Manager Steven Jones, in facilitating his career progression. "He has helped me progress a long way and understand the process," John acknowledges, highlighting the importance of strong industry partnerships.

As an assessor, John finds immense satisfaction in mentoring and guiding aspiring professionals, helping them navigate the complexities of the forestry industry. Despite facing challenges in the assessment process, John sees each obstacle as an opportunity for growth. "The best challenge is all the questions I have been asked, which has progressed my knowledge of the industry," he shares.

For those aspiring to enter the forestry industry, John offers valuable advice: "Have a positive attitude and a willingness to learn all the different aspects of the forestry industry sector." His journey shows how commitment, adaptability, and a genuine eagerness to learn can pave the way for a successful career in forestry.

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