Kayla Broad Finds Forestry Career No Joke

22 Mar 2016

Just one more year to go and Kayla Broad will be turning a would-be joke into a career.

After a brief taste of tertiary study at Waiariki in 2009, followed by a North American summer volunteering at Camp America in 2010, Kayla returned home to Rotorua unsure of what to do next. Her dad, a log maker and foreman, was tired of her mooching around the house and suggested she go to work with him.

“At first I thought he was joking,” Kayla says. “But I thought it over for a couple weeks and thought why not?”

While working with her dad’s crew on a volunteer basis, Kayla discovered how much she’d enjoy a career in the forestry industry and a couple weeks later her dad’s boss offered her a fulltime job.

“I was on the lowest pay but the money was still good.”

Was she intimidated to work in a traditionally male-dominated environment?

“It was a little scary at first but there are more females than people actually think there are. A girl trained me. There were four working when I was there. It’s not as rare as people think.”

Kayla started out working for her dad but then he removed her from his crew to get experience without him. “The boys looked after me,” Kayla says.

Kayla spent four years as a log maker and quality controller before returning to study at Waiariki in 2015 – with technology becoming a bigger part of the industry and incorporated into new machines, she realised she needed to upskill.

“I chose to study because everything was going mechanised and there were lots of redundancies due to the changing of the roles; not as many crew were needed on the ground.”

So far, Kayla has completed a Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety and a Diploma in Forestry Operations, both in 2015, with exceptional grades. When she completes the Diploma in Forest Management at the end of this year, she’ll continue this career path, one she is really excited about.

“There are so many different jobs you can take in this industry and I don’t really know what I want to do yet, so I’m hoping for a grad role to experience different departments. I also did the health and safety paper, so I could go into that area.”

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Page last updated: 02 May 2017