Forestry Commission Wales has given two of its apprentices the chance to put into practice what they have learnt by giving them each a permanent job as a Forest Craftsperson in North East Wales.
Having made a good start on the Foundation Modern Apprentice scheme, Alex Thompson and Glenn Williams were in the perfect position to apply for the permanent posts which came up when two colleagues retired.
In their new roles, Alex and Glenn will help look after 7,500 hectares of woodlands in North East Wales managed by Forestry Commission Wales on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government.
Their duties will include footpath maintenance, fencing, chainsaw work and looking after recreation sites in woodlands at Hiraethog, Dee Valley, Elwy Valley and the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Hayley Evans, HR Officer and Apprentice Scheme Manager at Forestry Commission Wales, said, "The forestry sector employs thousands of people in Wales and offers a variety of career opportunities.
"Our Foundation Modern Apprentice scheme was set up in response to a skills shortage in the sector and I am really pleased that, having made such a great start on the scheme, Alex and Glenn have gained permanent employment with us."
Alex Thompson said, " It would have been difficult to get a job like this without the opportunities and skills that the apprenticeship has given me so I am delighted that the vacancy for a Forest Craftsperson came up when it did."
Glenn Williams said, "The apprenticeship scheme gave me an excellent advantage when applying for a full time position with Forestry Commission Wales. I gained a vast amount of training and qualifications on the scheme which I have been consolidating whilst completing my day-to-day tasks."
Alex and Glenn joined Forestry Commission Wales’s Foundation Modern Apprentice scheme in March 2009. They will complete their apprenticeship in their new posts and work towards the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 2 in Trees and Timber.
Details of future opportunities for placements on the Foundation Modern Apprentice scheme will be advertised on Forestry Commission Wales's website, www.forestry.gov.uk/wales.
Photo: Alex Thompson (left) and Glenn Williams
NOTES TO EDITORS
Foundation Modern Apprentice scheme
The Foundation Modern Apprentice scheme was set up by Forestry Commission Wales in 2009. Apprentices are employed on a fixed term appointment working to complete a Foundation Modern Apprenticeship Trees and Timber course, which offers work-based learning to achieve the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 2 in Forestry.
Forestry Commission Wales
About 14% of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
Forestry Commission Wales provides advice on forestry policy to the Minister responsible for forestry. It provides grant aid to the private sector and regulates forestry by issuing felling licences.
Forestry Commission Wales is also part of Forestry Commission GB and contributes to the international forestry agenda.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
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