Tilhill Forestry, March, 2020

South Region’s Apprentices powering ahead

(Photo left to right: Shaun Hunter, Euan Sneddon, Jamie Wallace, Ben Sinden, Javin Hannah, Sabrina Smith, Alexander Austin.)

Trainees in the south of Scotland are going from strength to strength under Forestry and Land Scotland’s (FLS) Modern Apprentice programme.

Already six out of the seven Modern Apprentices have secured full time jobs in the forestry sector. All seven are all fully certified and achieved level 5 in a SCQF Trees and Timber qualification.

In addition, three of the Modern Apprentices have been shortlisted for the prestigious Lantra Learner of the Year awards, to be announced this week.

Forestry and Land Scotland’s South Region manager Sallie Bailey said:

“During Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2020 (2-6 March) I’m really pleased to welcome this news about our apprentices.

“I know that every individual has worked hard during their apprenticeships and we are all delighted that careers are being founded within Forestry and Land Scotland.

“Modern Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to bring new blood into the forestry sector and equip people with life skills that they can take with them in future years.

“I hope that our work to help train up the apprentices will also act as a catalyst for others in the forestry sector to offer these fantastic opportunities for young people.”

The Modern Apprentices have been based within Forestry and Land Scotland’s South Region since 2018. During their apprenticeship, the trainees learned practical forestry skills on the job but also studied through the SRUC Barony College.

Javin Hannah was formerly one of the South Region Modern Apprentices and has now secured a job within FLS. He added : “I strongly believe that the apprenticeship I have completed has created so many opportunities for self-development and for various career paths in this industry.

“I have always strived to find a career working in the outdoors and once I found this apprenticeship advertised, I could not let the opportunity pass away.

“Forestry and Land Scotland has helped me through a variety of courses which has given me the confidence to go about my work. I’ve worked with very supportive colleagues throughout my time – my apprenticeship was a great experience.

“My proudest achievement so far is managing to secure the role of Forest Management & Stewardship craftsperson in Newton Stewart. Without a doubt, this apprenticeship was a great way to start a career in forestry.”

In addition, a further four Forest Machine Operator apprentices based in Newton Stewart, Galloway, have just completed their first year with FLS. Two are continuing their second year within the private forestry sector, one with FLS and the remainder with another industry.

Scottish Apprenticeship Week runs from 2-6 March and celebrates the diversity that that makes work-based learning good for individuals, employers and the economy.

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