Wintec launches arboriculture training in Auckland with Treescape

Wintec is delivering  training to upskill arborists at Treescape in Auckland.

Wintec is delivering arboriculture training to upskill arborists at Treescape in Auckland. Photo Treescape.

A partnership between Wintec and Treescape in Auckland is welcome relief to the arboriculture industry, where highly trained tree-care professionals are thin on the ground.

Auckland may be a city of many trees and opportunity, but Treescape, a leading New Zealand green asset management company is struggling to find certified arborists.

The answer, says Treescape Training Coordinator, Ben Worth was to reach out to Wintec, New Zealand’s leading training provider in arboriculture and form a collaborative partnership to upskill their current and future staff.

“There is huge demand in Auckland for arborists and limited access to training. By creating an ‘earn while you learn’ training opportunity with Wintec, we can employ and train arborists on the job,” Worth says.

“This means they are able to move into the field and get involved with the more technical parts of the job faster, which helps keep them engaged in the journey and enthusiastic about continuing a career in arboriculture. The great thing is, it’s not just Treescape that will benefit from this, there is a plethora of companies in Auckland that require skilled arborists.”

A pilot is in place, and the first cohort of 11 students are studying Level 3 Arboriculture with Wintec at Treescape’s Ōtāhuhu depot. Five of the students were existing Treescape employees who study part-time.

Treescape employees in Auckland are learning arboriculture with Wintec. Photo Treescape.

Trainee arborists at Treescape can earn while they learn with Wintec. Photo Treescape.

Wintec Science and Primary Industries Horticulture Team Manager, Eric Haycock says that arboriculture training in Auckland has been delivered by Manukau Institute of Technology at Level 3, and it has done a great job of breaking the ground for students, but the course is planned to be discontinued for 2022.

“Wintec was approached by Treescape to fill a gap and so we created this pilot scheme,” says Haycock.

“This industry partnership proves that working with employers and on location can better meet their needs and it works to further careers within communities where the work is. In this case, it’s a first, we are delivering outside our region but we’re picking up where there is a gap in training availability, utilising Wintec’s longstanding expertise in arboriculture and horticulture training.”

Arboriculture is the art and science of planting, caring for and maintaining trees. At Wintec, arboriculture is delivered from certificate (Level 3) to diploma level (Level 6) at a specialised campus in the picturesque, 58-hectare Hamilton Gardens. However, Haycock says all students work two days a week in the industry, so the need for quality employer partnerships is vital to their success.

Worth is passionate about arboriculture and excited about the future of the collaboration with Wintec. He says this is the beginning of a future where advanced specialist training is accessible.

“I’d like to think that this the beginning of a specialised arboriculture training delivery centre here in Auckland, it is something that has been needed in the region for well over 10 years.

“Manukau Institute of Technology has done a fantastic job bringing arboriculture back into the eyes of the community as a new and exciting career. My hope is that with Wintec continuing this, with the wealth of knowledge and years of experience they have in delivering leading arboriculture programmes in New Zealand, we can encourage more people to become arborists,” says Worth.

“Arboriculture is not just a job, it is an amazing career and a great lifestyle.”

Find out more about training for a career in arboriculture with Wintec.

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