Trainees get woodland skills

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14 MARCH 2011NEWS RELEASE No: 14489

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Forestry Commission Scotland and the Wise Group have teamed up to provide fixed term training for 20 young people from the central belt. 

The trainees are enjoying the opportunity to hone different rural skills in the Commission’s woodlands around Forth in South Lanarkshire.

For many, it is the first time they have had the chance for full time training which will set them up for future employment.

Training opportunities include stone dyking, fence construction and repair, excavator use, path construction and maintenance,  tree planting, pruning and wood chipper operation.

John Ogilvie from Forestry Commission Scotland said:

“We’re very pleased that Scotland’s national forests are providing a great training ground for young people eager to make a new start in life.

“Not only are they learning new skills, they are also working on improvements to make the woodlands more attractive and accessible for the residents living in Forth. It’s a win win situation.”

This particular project with the Wise Group runs through to May but there are already plans to offer more opportunities of a similar nature.

Trainee, Robert Screen, 21 years old from the village of Law, said:

“I really enjoy working with the team in the Wise Group and I love working outside. I am looking forward to getting training on the machines - this training will be very helpful when looking for a full time job.”

Andy Cullen, who is managing the project for the Wise Group added:

“The Wise Group and Forestry Commission Scotland have an excellent working relationship, which provides  the ideal opportunity for  trainees to gain skills in an  environmentally sustainable occupation.

This opportunity primes our trainees  to take advantage of both seasonal and full time employment in this growing sector.”

Notes to news editors

1. Forestry Commission Scotland works as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate

2.  The Wise Group works with partners to make a positive difference to people’s lives through employment. They believe paid work is the best route to independence, health and wellbeing for most people.

3.  Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.