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It’s not hard to remember what life was like this time last year, as the country grappled with the impacts of a new global pandemic. New Zealand spent the Easter weekend in lockdown, and many Treescape staff, as essential workers, spent the weekend working hard and adjusting to Treescape’s new COVID-19 rules.

All businesses have needed to change and adapt; as a nation, we’ve adjusted incredibly well by comparison to some other countries still in the thick of Covid lockdowns. As a business, Treescape’s key focus has been on keeping valued staff in jobs and maintaining key contracts. Those that we worked for noted our resilience and perseverance, and we were able to continue working thanks to our ‘approved contractor’ status.

Business will never be the same as it was pre-pandemic; we have learnt and applied many new ways of doing things. Some changes have been positive for staff and the organisation as a whole, such as working from home to maintain social distancing, and raising the bar on personal hygiene and contract tracing. There is one area though which remains a challenge: recruitment and finding exceptional individuals to join the Treescape family.

Demand has always outweighed supply here in New Zealand, which is why the company maintains their status as Immigration New Zealand Accredited Employers. When the boarders are open, this certification helps to generate a steady stream of qualified arborists from countries such as Australia, South Africa, and England.

“While the company preference has always been to employ from within New Zealand, there are not enough qualified arborists to fill the roles available” says Treescape’s Executive Chair, Ed Chignell. “Our accreditation allows us to fast track visa requirements and offer new arrivals the best support.”

With a bubble finally opening up within Australasia, it gives hope to those many businesses needing to fill vacancies. Treescape is no different.

Christina Martland is one team member originally from England, who joined not through the Immigration programme, but by a chance conversation with one of Treescape’s Northland Managers. She was admiring the work of a local crew as they pruned street trees, wanting to become an arborist herself – a dream that was put on hold due to a back injury. Now, after 14 months on the job, “I’m fitter than I’ve ever been” she says, “I cancelled my gym membership!”.

Treescape provides employees with a career pathway so they can progress and gain academic knowledge and skills while gaining experience from working in the field. Coupled with compulsory internal competencies, it is an environment well suited to those wanting to learn.

“I don’t feel like I have to prove myself” says Christina, “but I am very safety conscious. Who you work with makes all the difference, and my team have huge respect for one another which makes the work very rewarding.”

There will always be opportunity for a fresh career start for those who are keen and fit, and who love the outdoors. Current opportunities are listed on our Career’s page or chat to your local Treescape manager to find out more about changing your career path.

Written by Anita Jeffcoat: People and Safety Advisor

This article has been published on Tree Matters Magazine, Edition 89 | Autumn 2021, pp.11-2. 

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