Employee with his recently – gained certificates of competence will not usually be able to equal
the productivity of a more experienced operator but with support and supervision from his
colleagues he will pick things up every day. Be aware, though, that everyone brings something to
the process: He might be slow but he might also have learnt a few techniques that make life
easier â€“ and safer. Equally, the more experienced, senior colleague may be quick but may also
have picked up a few bad habits along the way. This type of give-and-take has been going on in
the workplace for ever and is just as valuable now as it has ever been.
What we donâ€™t have in our current structure of training and employment in tree work is any way
to acknowledge these gains and achievements that are happening to individuals every day.
Planning is critical for success. Priorities should be detailed and the skills gap identified.
Development objectives should be specifically set and the identification of competency levels is
key. Support in forestry is available, and this should be assessed, whilst the cost & time
implications must be factored in, also. The benefit of added value to your business and staff must
be set against a realistic time frame. We are all individuals and therefore different. Each person
possesses a different preferred learning style. These range from innovative and analytical to
common sense and dynamic. Within CPD also, a period of reflection is important in knowing, if
you, the individual forester have achieved your objectives.
CPD could also be used in forming a nationally recognised, auditable and credible structure to
acknowledge individual operators training, certification and career progression, a register of Tree
Work Operatives. This scheme would have a large advantage if it could be made to happen, but
cost would be the main barrier to progress. In relation to career progression under a national
scheme, chain saw and forest machine operators could take their transferable skills (if the need
arises) into other industry sectors such as construction, without the need for duplication of
training, assessment or certification.
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