Harvesting the new timber workforce

What is a Saw Doctor? Have you ever wondered what it's like to work in the forestry industry? Come and meet some of the people who work at the Integrated Forest Products sawmill in Canberra.

The forest industry generates approximately $18 billion of wealth to Australia's economy each year, and employs 135,000 people across the country. However, many businesses are struggling to get qualified wood machinists to work in their sawmills.

Marian Orsolic is the Sawmill Supervisor and has been working in the industry for most of his life.

"I have saw dust in my veins," he says. "The industry can be a very rewarding one if you are willing to put the hours in and there are plenty of opportunities to advance and improve yourself."

When Jamie Wright left school he didn't know what kind of apprenticeship to do. He started off on the shop floor stacking timber but quickly learned that hard work pays off ad now works as a Safety Manager Apprentice.

"I've formed a close bond with all the people I work with, and it's a good feeling at the end of each day knowing that I'm keeping them safe and injury-free."

And finally we meet William 'Jack' Flynn. Jack is a saw doctor and it is his job to straighten and maintain the saws and ensure everything is running properly.

VJ Max Sappa