Tilhill, the UK’s leading forestry, timber harvesting and landscaping company, has seen a record number of entries into their yearly graduate programme.
The scheme enables graduates to join the forestry team at one of their offices across the country as an Assistant Forest Manager. They then build up their knowledge through being trained, mentored and encouraged by the experienced professional staff within the team.
Tilhill has worked hard over the years to promote forestry as a career in both schools and Universities. The industry has an acknowledged skills shortage therefore the Company has also worked with organisations within the forestry industry to promote forestry as a career within schools. This has already attracted a diverse range of new entrants to the industry and is believed to have contributed to halting a decline in numbers of forestry degrees and forestry training in colleges according to the Royal Forestry Society’s Skills Forum members.
Simon Lloyd, Chief Executive, Royal Forestry Society (RFS) said:
“It is very encouraging to know that companies like Tilhill are recruiting, training and developing so many more young foresters. The RFS 2017 report “A forestry skills study for England and Wales” identified serious skills gaps across the forestry supply chain. This was the basis of a call to action for the forestry sector. Forestry now has a higher profile as a result of climate change and more young people are seeing it as an attractive and worthwhile career choice. Enrollment in degree level forestry related courses has grown. We expect this trend to continue and hopefully accelerate.”
Tilhill has also played their part in promoting forestry careers through their graduate blog which features Assistant Forest Managers describing their roles and opinions on the industry which leads to a valuable insight into the world of forest management through the eyes of someone starting out in their career.
Tony Lockey, BSW Group Learning & Development Manager said:
“The recent rise in applications for positions in Tilhill is very pleasing and I partly feel it is due to the popularity towards anything forestry and tree related in light of environmentalism and a role which is now being more heavily promoted. We promote our industry in schools, colleges and with local communities regularly. We are on a wave of interest and enthusiasm towards our sector.”
Rob Baker, Tilhill Assistant Forest Manager North Highland, joined Tilhill as a graduate last year and offers his insight into how we can continue moving forward and encouraging more applications into our industry.
“We need to keep selling the good news stories that forestry professionals deliver on a daily basis. The more positive visibility the forest industry gains the better. The only way to educate the public is for the industry to be more open and engaged. If we can highlight the great work that takes place then the stack of applications will only continue to rise.
“I was fortunate enough to grow up on the doorstep of a woodland and had the opportunity to enjoy them as soon as I could walk. It is no accident that this early exposure led me down the career path that I have chosen – with this in mind I think there is definitely scope for early years education to increase the uptake in careers in the forestry sector.”