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Modern Apprentice opportunity for budding foresters

Forest Enterprise Scotland is on the search for eight new Modern Apprentices to begin a career in forestry.Forest Enterprise Scotland

The apprenticeships will learn forestry skills ranging from tree planting, felling and forest surveying right through to organising community recreation events.

Based in the south of Scotland, the successful apprentices will receive on the job experience and training with a Forest Enterprise Scotland team, backed with further skills provided by SRUC’s Barony campus.

Announcing the apprentice opportunity at a visit to Barony campus today, Rural Affairs Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“The Scottish Government is fully committed to helping young people find suitable training and skills development.

“We know that new recruits are often the life blood of any industry so I am very pleased to see Forest Enterprise Scotland taking on more apprentices.

“The skills that the apprentices will be taught are invaluable and will help them build exciting and rewarding careers.”

Adverts for the eight Modern Apprentices are being issued today with the recruitment process taking place over the next month or two. It is hoped that new apprentices will start their work early in 2018.

SRUC’s Barony campus is set within a working 260 hectare estate and is ideally situated to offer a training and Modern Apprenticeship hub for the programme.

Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC, said: “Forestry plays an important role in Scotland’s rural economy, so it is vital that young people are given the chance to receive hands-on technical training and experience. We’re looking forward to partnering with Forest Enterprise Scotland on delivering this exciting new apprenticeship scheme from our Barony campus.”

There are also plans to deliver a similar Modern Apprentice programme in the north of Scotland by August 2018. Forest Enterprise Scotland is currently in talks with the UHI Scottish School of Forestry to provide this opportunity.

It is hoped Forest Enterprise Scotland’s engagement with Modern Apprenticeships and partnership with the land-based college sector will act as a catalyst for other forestry related businesses to consider the Modern Apprenticeship programme.

Gerry McBride, Strategic Relations Manager with Skills Development Scotland added: “Modern Apprenticeships play a vital role in providing structured work based learning and supporting a talent pipeline into the forestry sector.”

Forest Enterprise Scotland has previously run a very successful apprenticeship programme and between the years 2006 – 2016 a total of 99 apprentices received training.

Around 70 per of those on the programme achieved the Modern Apprentice qualification and nearly 80 per cent went on to gain permanent employment within the forestry or rural sector.

Around a quarter of the apprentices were female, helping to challenge the myths of forestry being a male dominated industry.

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