Sept. 23, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is investing $120,000 towards a new on-line campaign aimed at educating students and career counsellors on the numerous career opportunities in the forestry sector.
The initiative by the Council on Forest Promotion and Recruitment is called Go Forestry!, and is the latest in a series of government supports of more than $406,000 for the New Brunswick Forest Products Association.
Ed Doherty, minister of post-secondary education, training and labour; and Donald Arseneault, minister of natural resources, participated in the campaign launch today as part of National Forest Week.
Doherty paid tribute to the Forest Products Association for mobilizing stakeholders involved in the campaign. He said that it helps the province's self-sufficiency agenda by keeping young people in New Brunswick and educating them on the many opportunities in their home province.
"This will shine a light on the broader career opportunities in the forestry sector," Doherty said. "Go Forestry! is aimed at high-school students, colleges, universities and the public, and will help address labour market needs and a looming skills shortage over the next five-to-ten years."
Arseneault is confident that many students will find forestry-sector professions that suit their interests.
"Our forests are our most precious natural resource, and we need highly skilled individuals at all levels managing it in a responsible manner, for now and into the future," said Arseneault. "This site will help individuals match their interests, whether it involves protecting the environment, research, life sciences, wildlife, computers and business, or others. Forestry is a vast sector covering many aspects of our daily lives."
Mark Arsenault, New Brunswick Forest Products Association president, said that the campaign is in response to some pressure points in the sector. In addition to a large group of retiring baby boomers, the availability of skilled workers and the out-migration of young adults concerns industry leaders, universities and other stakeholders.
"The forestry sector is in a period of transformation, and will be a major player on world markets," Arsenault said. "We will need high-quality people to manage our forests in a sustainable manner and to perform important tasks such as, silviculture, managing companies, executing scientific research, and others. Our projections clearly show there are not enough students coming into the system. I am pleased to have the government and our stakeholders work together in taking action now to build a strong workforce for the future."
Partners in the campaign include the Government of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Forest Products Association, Canadian Forest Service, Fundy Model Forest, the University of New Brunswick, l'Université de Moncton , Aboriginal Skills Employment Partnership, Canada Forestry Association of New Brunswick, Canadian Institute of Forestry-Maritimes Section, Canadian Woodlands Forum, INFOR, Maritime College of Forest Technology, New Brunswick Community College Network, and Registered Professional Foresters.
Go Forestry! begins Wednesday, Sept. 24, with a four-week web-based strategy targeted at teenagers surfing the Internet. All career counsellors in the province will receive information packages explaining the campaign and the new tools available. Central to the campaign is a highly interactive website where students, parents, and career counsellors may educate themselves on forestry and related careers.
Funding is provided by the Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick through the Canada New Brunswick Labour Market Development Agreement.
For more information, visit the Go Forestry! website. Questions related to the campaign or to careers in forestry may be sent to email@example.com.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Andrew Holland, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-2568; Sharon Jones, communications; Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-7928; Daniel Gautreau, co-ordinator, Go Forestry!, 506-736-6349.