The New Zealand labour market for aerial arborists began to tighten earlier in the year. The trend first became apparent in the provinces but today even the larger urban companies are beginning to feel the pinch.
Back in April when Treetools first blogged about local labour shortages, some climbers suggested remuneration, and perks of the job, were too low relative to Australia.
"Huge money" was to be made across the Tasman and stories emerged of free-ranging kiwi tree climbers simply packing their bags on Friday and starting work in aussie on Monday.
While this was true to some degree you could hardly say there was a mass exodus of arborists from New Zealand!
The labour shortage 'noise' did however cause some of our more progressive arb companies to sit up and take notice, many realizing it might be time to make themselves look a bit more attractive to potential employees, particularly tree climbers.
Over the last few months Treetools has noted a softening of attitude towards hard-and-fast company rules regarding equipment choice, hours of work and other 'lifestyle' related options.
Education is on the increase with more on-the-job and workshop style training sessions taking place.
And equipment is being upgraded more regularly to keep pace with innovation.
This is good news for both the employee and the company as the NZ arb industry rises to the challenge of doing business in 2012.Aerial arborists at work - boy, what a job and you get paid for this?