By Tony Lockey, Group Learning & Development Manager at BSW Timber
Forests and associated activities with their harvest and use are becoming ever more important to not only local communities and the UK economy, but also how our lifestyles will be and to our planet’s resources. There is without doubt an enormous amount of exciting opportunities coming our way as we move to greater use of timber in our everyday life and to planting new crops for the future generations. This country has huge expectations on the amount of planting required to hit government targets and to cater for our needs going forward. The way we manage and work within our forests is changing too, with more automation, IT and computer systems being introduced into this area.
But there is always going to be a need for hands-on work at the forest. What better way to spend your day than in a forest with wildlife and fresh air all around? As Group Learning & Development Manager, it is important that we look to the future and bring in new recruits to this sector. Working with Confor and Lantra as well as other independent forestry companies, we can plot an average need of +30% on the current numbers working in this sector in the next ten years. This means we need people to be trained and work with us going forward.
Access to forestry comes through many routes - we are actively working with schools and further education authorities to capture the best new recruits to this sector offering a fabulous range of job opportunities. Training at colleges such as SRUC Barony, Borders College and Scottish School of Forestry in Inverness offers young people access to a range of skills and knowledge that is so useful in our industry. Tilhill offers a training programme for graduates with drive, passion and enthusiasm who are interested in a career within the forest sector – applications for our placements in 2022 open in December; more information, along with a video on the programme, can be viewed here: https://www.tilhill.com/careers/graduate-programme/
There are no average days, as this Assistant Forest Manager profile from Franziska Goeckeritz shows: https://www.tilhill.com/resource-hub/blogs-and-articles/a-typical-day-as-an-assistant-forest-manager/