Working as a machine operator for Roxburgh Contracting under the FICA MSD Harvesting Subsidy, school-leaver Callum Maze is loving working in logging and working outdoors.
While participating in the Gateway programme as a senior in secondary school, Callum Maze enjoyed working on the processor simulator and expressed an interest in working in forestry.
His existing forestry connections made it easy for him to pathway from school to work, taking up a role with his contact Lawson Roxburgh who owns and runs Roxburgh Contracting.
“I did gateway through school and put forestry as an interest, so then I contacted Lawson at Roxburgh Contracting and it went from there,” he says.
Roxburgh Contracting runs three crews in the Otago region, including a 2-man falling crew, a 7-man harvest-line crew and a ground base crew, where they put Callum to work on the digger first.
“I started off on the digger stacking stems and learning and observing on the job,” says Callum.
“Earlier this year I started on the skidder too, which has been fun to learn a new machine.”
Callum says working in forestry is a good fit with his love of the outdoors.
“I’m just kind of an outdoor person in general. I like being outside and away from everything I guess,” he says.
“The machinery and mechanical side has been cool to learn too. It’s been pretty fun to learn new machines and how they work. You learn more about how the mechanics of the machines – like if they blow a hose and you have to know what to do.”
Callum plans to keep learning the ropes and working towards his ticket qualifications.
“I can see the opportunities in forestry down the road and how you can work your way up. You could be a foreman or maybe even run your own crew one day,” he says.
“But you’ve got to start at the bottom so right now I’m focused on getting my apprenticeship and learning everything I can.”
Roxburgh owner Lawson Roxburgh says having access to the FICA MSD Harvesting subsidy has been helpful.
“We trained Callum on the job, and it covered some of that cost,” says Lawson.
“He is doing really well, driving a skidder at the moment. He’s got a lot of potential and going very well so far.”
“Who knows, maybe one day he’ll buy me out and I can retire!”