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Forestry workers who took part in a special graduation ceremony at NorthTec learned that there are no barriers to continued learning – especially age.
The workers, who are all employees of FPS (Forestry Protection Services) received their formal qualifications alongside a 71-year-old who is continuing to both work and study, setting a great example to his younger colleagues.
The ceremony, held at NorthTec’s Apprentice Restaurant at the Raumanga campus, saw nine FPS students presented with National Certificates, with two students gaining two qualifications each.
They were supported by family members and representatives of forestry employers and contractors, as well as NorthTec forestry tutors and managers. The training was organised through the employer, FPS, to enable their workers to upskill and gain formal qualifications which are recognised throughout the industry.
In addition there were special presentations made to two people who have achieved exceptionally within their industry. They were nominated in the recent Northland Forestry Awards, and while they missed out on the top prizes, NorthTec’s forestry programme staff wanted to honour them publicly for the great example they set.
At the age of 71, Paul Barton is still working in the industry and gaining formal qualifications, having recently achieved the Level 4 National Certificate in Tree Felling. Paul’s manager, Alex Critchfield of Blackheart Logging, thanked Paul for being part of his crew and continuing to lead by example, adding: “At 71 he puts a lot of younger fellows to shame.” Alex was also awarded a Level 4 National Certificate in Log Extraction.
The second award went to Nicky Noble from Lignator, who gained a Level 4 National Certificate in Forest Operations (Log Making). Nicky was described by NorthTec forestry tutor, Nigel Drummond, as a great example of someone who has steadily progressed through several qualifications and showed thought and intelligence in the way he approached his work and took site safety very seriously.
Phil Nikora, NorthTec’s Forestry Programme Leader, congratulated all the students on their achievements, and also praised the employers who chose to invest in their staff through formal on-the-job training.
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