A CUT ABOVE: New TAFE NSW Tumut saw technology teachers Fred Dean (left) and Josh Molkinton will help train the next generation of saw doctors from across Australia.
TAFE NSW Tumut’s commitment to forestry training has been further strengthened by the recruitment of two new saw doctoring specialist teachers.
Josh Molkentin and Fred Dean, both who work as saw doctors in the local timber industry, have recently commenced as saw technology teachers at TAFE NSW Tumut.
Tumut and Tumbarumba are home to a global forestry industry, with nearly 18 per cent of the region’s workforce employed in the industry.
Mr Molkentin, 48, is a born-and-bred local who will straddle his role as head saw doctor at Hyne Timber Tumbarumba Mill with his new teaching duties.
“It’s all about career progression for me and sharing my expertise with the next generation of saw doctors,” Mr Molkentin said.
“What I love about TAFE NSW is that the course is practical and gives students a chance to just get in and do it.”
Fred Dean is a saw doctor at AKD in Tumut and will also share his time between the workshop and the classroom.
Both new teachers were recruited under the innovative Paid to Learn program, which aims to fast-track and support industry professionals as they transition into teaching at TAFE NSW, paying them a wage while they complete their training.
TAFE NSW Tumut’s Forestry Training Centre is one of only two training organisations nationally to offer forestry, drawing students from across Australia.
Saw doctors are an irreplaceable part of the timber industry, repairing, setting and sharpening saw blades for timber production.
The local timber industry is still recovering from the disastrous 2019-2020 bushfires, which devastated more than a third of the region’s commercial forestry plantation area.
Forest Industry Council executive officer Dallas Goldspink welcomed the new TAFE NSW forestry teachers and said they would play a critical role in providing a skilled workforce to local mills.
“Forestry is so diverse and there are so many different pathways for young people to build a career,” Mr Goldspink said.
“We really need that pipeline of new workers coming through and TAFE NSW Tumut is the ideal training facility to provide that.”
Both teachers are currently teaching under supervision and will commence full teaching duties in February 2024.
Media contact: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428