Industry Insider Newsletter
October 2021
Meeting the Forest Sector’s Labour Needs?

In recent months, Forest NB has compiled employment data from its members in the forest sector in order to inform options for tools and programs to help with the labor shortage. The association has been working with the GNB Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labor to explore possible solutions for the identified professions who will encounter labor shortages in the coming years : harvesting operators, truck drivers, silviculture workers and mill workers.

Forest NB is tasked to communicate the different realities of certain forestry jobs to generate tailored strategies for the industries needs. For example, there is a labor shortage in the trucking industry that impacts many other sectors, but trucking in the forest sector is unique because driving conditions include woods roads in forested areas, and the work period is usually 38 to 40 weeks per year.

A recent success has seen industry and government partners implement harvester and forwarders as a certified trade, which allows young people access to more funding while learning an accredited trade. Another positive outcome is the co-creation of a forestry curriculum for use in high schools and has been piloted in the Miramichi region. Enrolled students learn about sustainable forest management and career options in the sector, and get hands on experience using a harvester simulator.

Our #Iam1of24K campaign has also helped to highlight the diversity of good jobs and satisfying careers in the sector. Forest NB, along with government and other industry partners will continue working to ensure the young people and newcomers alike recognize the opportunities in the forest sector, and to meet labour force needs in the future. 

The Trucking Industry in the Atlantic Provinces
In the past few months, a few unforeseen issues have impacted the trucking industry that have complexified its environment. Jean-Marc Picard from the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) and Jeff Morris from AV Group mentions the situation is amplified at the moment and it not likely to get better any time soon. They estimate there are 25 000 available jobs in trucking in the Atlantic provinces and they forecast 50 000 jobs will be available in 2025. Trucking is the backbone for many supply chains like forestry and when there is a shortage of drivers and warehouse workers, it affects the whole supply chain. Insurance costs are going up as well which makes it hard for young people to get hired in the industry. Currently, trucking companies are refusing freight because there are not enough drivers. There are about 10% of trucks that are parked, even though it is the busiest time of year for trucking.

Many factors contribute to the situation, the economy is picking up which means more demand for trucking along with COVID-19 restrictions have impacted immigration, shutdown driving schools and increased early retirement for truckers. There is also an uptake in local deliveries which has created many new local jobs for existing truckers.

Trucking associations and companies are looking to immigration as a possible solution, along with paid training for new drivers. They are also considering using more long combination vehicles to haul more freight.

For more information, please visit APTA.CA
Forestry Presentations around NB

Since the beginning of the school year, Forest NB has visited 2 different high schools in French and English communities of Shippagan and Nackawic, engaging over 100 students.

Three more presentations are scheduled before the Christmas holidays. If you know a teacher who would like a forestry presentation for their students, send an email to Anik Charbonneau, Communication and Marketing Manager of Forest NB.

Forest NB and Science East have also partnered to create 2 forestry exhibits for younger kids which are available for community outreach and education at Science East and Forest NB's office, both located in Fredericton, N.B.
2nd Ernie Strickland Scholarship Awarded

Langdon Ellis, from Canobie NB has received the second Strickland Scholarship of 2021.Forest NB Strickland Scholarship is given out to a student attending MCFT who has achieved strong academic results during their NB Secondary Education and has experience in our forests. The award is valued at $750 per year and is supported by a generous grant from Forest NB and its partner companies.

Best of luck to you, Langdon!