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Graduate Development Programme - Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered below please email:

Do I need a specialised forestry, or environmental degree to apply for the GDP?

We have a preference for any Science, Environmental, Business, Humanities, Economics, Management or commercial related degrees but we are open to applications from anyone with a passion to get into a commercial role with the relevant transferable skills.

Can I apply with a 2:2 or an equivalent Masters qualification?

No.  Due to the popularity of the programme we have to be strict in asking for an upper second class honours degree (2:1) or above.  You cannot apply if you only have a Masters qualification nor if you have a 2:2 and a Masters qualification.

Can I apply if I am in my final year of university?

Yes. You can apply in your final year of university if you expect to achieve a 2:1 grade or higher by the time you start the programme.

How many graduates are you taking on?
We are recruiting 1 graduate for entry onto the Forest Enterprise England Graduate Development Programme in 2017.

Is there any support for moving home to start on the programme?

For your first move, you will be expected to find accommodation and move your belongings at your own expense.  However if you have particular trouble finding suitable accommodation which can be the case in more rural and remote areas, we will try to provide local knowledge/support to help source suitable rental accommodation.

For subsequent moves, you will be supported by the Forestry Commission.

How difficult is it to get onto the GDP?

It’s tough - we usually find we have a lot of interest, from high calibre candidates and in relation to the number of people we are looking for it means that the competition is very high.

Can I apply if I graduated a couple of years ago?
You can apply if you have graduated within the past 3 years.

What is the recruitment process? 
Applications will close on Friday 9 February 2018. Skype interviews will be held Friday 2 March 2018 with an assessment day held 22 March 2018.

Can I apply if I don’t have a full UK driving licence?

The duties of this post require the applicant to hold and continue to hold a full current driving licence that enables them to drive in the UK (or obtain one before commencement of the post). You will be asked to provide your driving licence in order for us to validate that you meet this essential job requirement.

However, the Forestry Commission is willing to consider any proposals put forward by applicants that would allow them to do the job by other means.

Is there an age limit for candidates applying for the programme?

No.  There is no age limit for candidates applying for our GDP as long as you meet the essential requirements.

Is the Forestry Commission an equal opportunities employer?

Yes. The Forestry Commission is committed to providing equal opportunities for all sectors of the community, irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, religion, sexuality and transgender.

If I have applied before can I apply again?

Can I apply if I am an FC employee?

Yes, if you are interested in gaining the experiences that the programme will provide then you are welcome to apply.  Please be aware that you will be required to vacate your current post to take up one of the GDP placements.

When is the programme likely to commence?

The successful applicant will start at the end of July or during August 2018. The exact start date is negotiable.

Can non-UK citizens apply?

The Forestry Commission is a Civil Service Department therefore all candidates should meet the Cabinet Office's nationality requirements set out at

Why does the programme require spending time at different locations?

Spending time in the different parts of the organisation is not only about learning skills and developing forestry knowledge but also experiencing the different organisational cultures and challenges that a widely geographically spread organisation faces.

Do I receive financial help if I need to relocate my home to join the programme?

No. If you have to move to take up your first placement you are expected to do this independently. Thereafter you will receive financial support for expenses relating to your placements.

Do I receive financial help if I need to relocate at the end of the programme?

If a move is required at the end of the programme you will be supported as per our normal transfer expenses policy.

What happens to me after the 2-year programme? What are the career prospects like in the Forestry Commission?

Towards the end of the programme we will work with you to find you a suitable post.  Ideally you will be looking at jobs at the next level and this could be managing anything from new woodlands, recreation sites, or developing new policies. However there are no guarantees that a suitable job will arise in this timescale therefore we will find you a permanent post at your current pay band.

When would I need to take up appointment?

The successful applicant must be able to take up appointment at the end of July or during August 2018. The exact start date is negotiable.

Last updated: 9th January 2018