Apprentices and industry professionals in Tasmania’s growing arboriculture industry are this week getting a unique opportunity to work with heritage trees planted by convicts at the Port Arthur historic site.
In partnership with the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA), TasTAFE is delivering a five-day block of arboriculture training at the site, with participants working with 200-year-old oak trees, blue gums and several other species, which form part of site’s history.
The apprentices and arborists working in industry are learning a range of skills including tree pruning, aerial rescue skills and advanced climbing techniques, working on the Isle of the Dead and several other areas across the site.
The work is being oversighted by Gareath Plummer, PAHSMA’s Grounds and Gardens Crew Supervisor, and members of his team. As well as providing training support, they are ensuring that the heritage values of the trees are maintained in the process. PAHSMA is very excited about this opportunity to work alongside TasTAFE in such a significant learning activity.
TasTAFE teacher James Huggett along with trainers and industry professionals Joe Harris and Andrew Hunt are delivering the training. Joe Harris is a recent addition to TasTAFE trainer cohort, who has worked and provided training all over the world.
TasTAFE Education Manager, Primary Industries, Rachel Holland, said that while it was a small industry, there had been a significant increase in interest in arboriculture training in recent years.
”The number of people undertaking TasTAFE’s arboriculture training have doubled from around 14 to 30 in the past eighteen months,” Ms Holland said.
“There are strong job opportunities in the industry and it has recently been listed as one of the top 10 industries with a skills shortage in Australia.
“This training at Port Arthur is a fantastic opportunity for both apprentices and experienced industry professionals to learn the latest industry techniques in a real-life setting, while working with trees of an age that they would not normally be exposed to.
“The participants and their employers are extremely excited about having this training opportunity at Port Arthur. Several employers have said that these training programs and opportunities lift arborist training in Tasmania to the highest level possible.”
TasTAFE apprentices started their block of training at Port Arthur on Monday and finish on Friday 20 September.
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