WIDE Trust funding

A shift in focus

The government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) scheme, which launched July 2020, created an opportunity for Competenz to pivot its partnership with the Wood Industry Development and Education (WIDE) Trust.

The original funding of $300,000 from the well-respected forestry education trust, first approved in late 2019, included a provision of scholarships to cover training fees associated with apprenticeships. The funding also covered professional development opportunities for forestry assessors.

Once TTAF was launched, there was no longer a need for the proposed scholarships. This prompted a programme review through which an adjustment was approved to reallocate the funding to resource development, a pilot programme for online assessment, and further opportunities for upskilling Competenz assessors.

The focus for funding from the WIDE Trust is now centred around two key areas: $120,000 is allocated to resource development and online forestry learning through Canvas – the Competenz eLearning system; and $150,000 is allocated to assessor development.

Planning for the latter is well underway with a series of regional professional development, upskilling, and networking days in the pipeline for 2021.

Competenz CEO Fiona Kingsford is delighted to have worked with the WIDE Trust to refocus the partnership in the wake of COVID-19 challenges.

“We are grateful to the WIDE Trust for their investment in our forestry education, and their recognition of the importance of scholarships for training fees in the original plan was clearly ahead of its time. Their acknowledgement of the importance of online resource development, particularly with the rapid move to digital this year, is welcomed, as is the investment in professional development for contract assessors who are a vital part in forestry industry education.”