In its latest funding round, Otago Community Trust awarded a $19,611 grant to the Tokomairiro Training Pathways course to assist with the cost of running the Forestry Pathways Programme out of Tokomairiro Training Centre.
Tokomairiro Training Programme Manager, Lynda Allan, says the programme specialises in breaking down barriers to learning for young people, who are often at risk of dropping out of school.
“The Forestry Pathways Programme places emphasis on silviculture operations and introduces learners to a variety of industry pathways including future tertiary study and employment”.
The programme has been running for three years now. It is run for two days each week over a 32-week period and is well supported by local high schools and financially supported by several local forestry companies. The feedback from students is overwhelmingly positive with several students now fully employed in the industry, says Ms Allan.
Otago Community Trust Chair, Diccon Sim says trustees are particularly impressed with the Forestry Pathways Programme: “The programme aligns closely with the Trust’s strategic priority of increased access to opportunities, particularly in its ability to provide economic benefits and enhance employment opportunities for a number of young people in Otago.”
A $17,000 grant was also awarded to Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust, a Wānaka community-based native plant nursery that will help with the cost of developing dedicated quarters for its volunteers.
In total Otago Community Trust approved just over $395,511 to 26 organisations last month.