COVID curveball creates changed collaboration with WIDE Trust

November 11, 2020

The global pandemic and the government’s free apprenticeships and traineeships have created the opportunity for Competenz to pivot their partnership with the Wood Industry Development and Education (WIDE) Trust.

The original funding of $300,000 from the well-respected forestry industry education trust to the industry training organisation, first approved in late 2019, provided scholarships for training fees associated with apprenticeships. However, these are no longer necessary due to the free fees scheme. Money was also allocated to cover professional development opportunities for forestry assessors.

A recent programme review approved the adjustment of the grant to resource development and a pilot programme for online assessment and further opportunities for upskilling our assessors.

The revision means the focus is now on two key areas: $120,000 is allocated to resource development and online forestry learning on Canvas – the Competenz eLearning system; and $150,000 for assessor development. Planning for the latter is already underway with a series of regional professional development, upskilling and networking days in the pipeline for early 2021. More details will be available soon.

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.”