3 DECEMBER 2010NEWS RELEASE No: 14268
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An innovative woodland project is helping equip the long-term unemployed with a better chance of finding work in the future.
Forestry Commission Scotland and Apex Scotland have teamed up to provide a programme of practical woodland management activities in Devilla (Fife) and Windy Hill (Johnstone) forests.
On the pilot programme, the long-term unemployed will undertake a range of woodland management activities to learn new skills. The work being carried out will also provide a boost for the community’s environment and woodland recreation.
Forestry Commission Scotland’s Hugh McNish said:
“For those who have been out of work for a long period, especially those with past convictions or health problems, it can be very hard to return to the job market.
“We know that practical work of this nature has a positive affect on the individuals taking part. Not only will their skills base widen but their self confidence, esteem and motivation are all boosted and this can help them get back on the right track.”
The kind of work that participants will carry out includes: bracken control; path maintenance; litter clearance; building bird boxes and a range of hands on woodland management activities. There will be an Apex Scotland member of staff leading the groups of ten at both the sites at Devilla and Windy Hill forests.
Aidan McCorry, Apex Scotland’s Director of Corporate Services and Planning added:
“This initiative not only gives the participants access to a range of employment related training modules and the opportunity to achieve a John Muir Award, it also contributes significantly to local environmental improvements at the same time as putting something back into the community. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland and contributing to this valuable work”.
Notes to news editors
1. Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland.
2. Apex Scotland works with the most disadvantaged sections of society including offenders and ex-offenders, substance missusers in recovery (both drugs and alcohol), individuals identified with literacy and innumeracy needs and single vulnerable homeless people www.apexscotland.org.uk
3. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.