Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Silviculture and forestry workers perform a variety of duties related to reforestation and to the management, improvement and conservation of forest lands.
Working with Others
Silviculture and forestry workers are part of a team, known as a work crew, but individual members often work independently to space trees, cut a section of a tree stand or plant a section of the plot. At times, they work with a partner on activities, such as establishing an initial thinning pattern, before beginning their solitary work. Forest firefighters may work with a partner to dig trenches or build a helipad.
Silviculture and forestry workers learn on the job through practice and through interaction with co-workers. Many take first-aid training and courses in the safe use of chainsaws and other power tools. Workers who fight forest-fires take courses in such things as weather interpretation, fire behaviour prediction, fire fighting techniques, helipad construction and rappel safety.
All essential skills are affected by the introduction of technology in the workplace. Silviculture and forestry workers' ability to adapt to new technologies is strongly related to their skill levels across the essential skills, including reading, writing, thinking and communication skills. Technologies are transforming the ways in which workers obtain, process and communicate information, and the types of skills needed to perform in their jobs. In particular, silviculture and forestry workers need the basic digital skills required to use technology, such as global positioning (GPS) technology and two-way radios, which are commonplace in the industry. Digital technologies provide workers with tools, such as satellite phones, that increase opportunities for verbal interaction and improve workplace safety. For example, workers operating independently in remote locations can access supervisors and medical assistance using their satellite phones. Workers may also need the skills to use increasingly complex applications, such as word processing software.
Technology in the workplace further affects the complexity of tasks related to the essential skills required for this occupation. The sophisticated mechanisms found in equipment, such as chainsaws, have increased the complexity of technical drawings, to which silviculture and forestry workers sometimes refer. At the same time, GPS software has simplified map reading. Workers can also complete documents, such as fire-cost reports, with speed and accuracy using software applications that input data automatically. Alternately, they may calculate material requirements, conversions, volumes, rates and other numeracy-related tasks using Web-based applications, calculators and hand-held devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs).