People working in practical jobs can move along a well-established qualifications pathway during their career, gaining certificates, enhancing skills and increasing earning potential.


Many forestry contractors and forest owners work together to provide on-the-job training to crew members and other staff. This can include, for example:

When thinking about taking a job in the industry, you could ask about what training opportunities a potential employer might offer.

Practical skills training is available nationwide and mainly offered through Competenz, the forest industry’s training organisation. Competenz provide regional trainers who work with forestry contractors and their employees.

In some regions, training is delivered by private training companies who usually work together with Competenz. 


Training providers in some regions offer block courses to people already employed in the industry. These courses involve trainees spending blocks of time - perhaps 1-2 weeks - based at a training centre rather than at work. 


1. Northtec, Northland

Northtec offers a range of forestry training (NZQA Levels 2, 3 and 4) at several campuses right across Northland. These are practical courses, aimed at upskilling both experienced workers and people who are relatively new to the industry. 

Visit the Northtec website for more information and also meet some of the tutors and students. 

2. Turanga Ararau, Gisborne/East Coast

Turanga Ararau (Gisborne) collaborates closely with the East Coast forest industry to offer a range of training for new entrants and people already working in the industry. Courses on offer are:

Full details on the Turanga Ararua website 

Contact Turanga Ararau: 0508 38 38 38

3. Eastern Institute of Technology - Hawkes Bay/East Coast

EIT has several training centres from Hawkes Bay to Ruatoria. It provides the Forestry Harvesting Operations course (Level 3). It also offers courses in heavy vehicle driver training for those interested in a career as a logging truck driver. 

Visit the EIT website for more information.

Contact: 0800 22 55 348

4. Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Bay of Plenty

Toi Ohomai is the Bay of Plenty's premier forestry training centre. It offers a range of courses (NZQA Levels 2, 3 and 4) at several campuses across the central North Island. These practical courses are designed together with forestry contractors to ensure training meets the needs of the industry.

Full details available at Toi Ohomai

Contact at Toi Ohomai: Richard Stringfellow

5. Mike Hurring Forestry Training, Balclutha

Mike Hurring Forestry Training offers a training programme for people already working in harvesting crews. The course is based in Balclutha, South Otago, and comprises five one-week courses over a ten-month period. It is run in conjunction with Phil Williams, the local Competenz manager. 

Have a look at Mike's Facebook page

Contact: 03 419 0101