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Expanding Our Roots

Graduates of Forestry Programs Needed & In Demand

News Release- February 21, 2006 Canadian Institute of Forestry

Proactive and immediate attention is needed in order to ensure the next generation of forest practitioners and other qualified, trained modern forest workers are available for the workforce. According to Alex Drummond, professor at the University of Alberta, the large number of retirements in the forest sector coincidental with lowered enrolment has created an employment gap.

Enrolment in the over 25 post-secondary forestry programs at technical/technologist and university levels has been in dramatic decline for the last decade. A crisis will soon be in our forests, if the supply of professional and technical forest practitioners managing Canada 's forests continues to decline.

"The forest sector plays an important role in the stewardship of Canada 's forests as well as its modern and technologically advanced outlook, a role that is often misunderstood. There is also a misconception about jobs and career opportunities in forestry", noted Professor Drummond. "Graduates of forestry programs are needed and, in demand".

In fact, there are tremendously diverse and rewarding career opportunities available in the forest sector. Forestry is a vibrant, modern, technologically advanced sector focused on stewardship to sustain the whole forest resource sector. A report entitled "The Crisis in Post-Secondary Enrolments in Forestry Programs: A Call to Action for Canada's Future Forestry Professional/Technical Workforce ", identifies the issues in declining enrolment and seeks solutions. It states "While it is important for post-secondary institutions to maintain our Canadian forestry programs and the high quality of our professional forestry curriculum, there is a broader issue in the wider community. If undergraduate and career technology forestry programs are discontinued, it will be increasingly difficult to find the next generation of forest practitioners and other qualified, trained modern forest workers to maintain the important economic standing of the forest industry in Canada ".

The report calls for collaborative partnership with industry, government, professionals and the post-secondary forestry schools to encourage individuals including women and aboriginal people who are under-represented, to pursue post-secondary education in forestry leading to a career in that sector. A dedicated cross-sectoral team from across Canada representing post-secondary forestry schools, industry, government, professional bodies and the Canadian Institute of Forestry is currently seeking broad commitment and support to address these critical issues. 

A professional and technical forestry workforce is needed. The future of sustainable forestry in Canada depends on it.

For more information contact:
Mr. Alex Drummond
University of Alberta Tel : 780-492-2056 (work) or 780-914-6816
Email: [email protected]

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