Applications have opened for the next cohort of the Professional Forester Apprenticeship programme.
The thee-year programme offers a paid development opportunity for individuals from different backgrounds looking to start a career in forestry.
The apprenticeship aims to grow and upskill the UK forestry sector workforce, and is open to school leavers, graduates or anyone looking for a change in career direction.
The UK government said the programme will support jobs and opportunities in rural communities and help to increase capacity to meet woodland creation and forest management needs.
This will, in turn, support the government’s tree planting and woodland creation ambitions over the coming years, it said.
Professional Forester Apprentices will pursue academic studies in forestry management at the University of Cumbria and gain hands-on experience in Forestry Commission area teams throughout England.
Upon completion of the programme, successful graduates will earn a Professional Forester Apprenticeship (equivalent to Level 6).
Chief executive of the Forestry Commission, Richard Stanford, said: “The Professional Forester Apprenticeship programme is a fantastic opportunity to earn as you learn, with our current students thriving though a unique mix of hands-on experience, and academic study that will equip them for a future in forestry, and help to address the skills shortage in the forestry sector.
“The Forestry Commission is leading the way with this unique development opportunity, and we continue to see first-hand the success of this programme.
“I encourage anyone interested to apply today to make a difference to our trees and woodlands for generations to come.”
Senior education and outreach officer at the Institute of Chartered Foresters, Dr. Rob Hawkins, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of the third year of the Professional Forester Apprenticeship.
“This programme is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience alongside a BSc (Hons) degree, with the potential to gain chartered status too.
“It’s an exciting time to be entering the sector and this initiative is an incredible way to get a head start in an amazing career”.