“Three changes”: Call To Inspire Next Generation Of Foresters - Royal Forestry Society

(image: Royal Forestry Society)
(image: Royal Forestry Society)

The Royal Forestry Society is calling for three changes to make it easier for young people to enter the sector and for career changers to qualify.

Like many land- based sectors, forestry is faced with an aging workforce.

Speaking at the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) conference today on ‘The Next Generation’, Royal Forestry Society Chief Executive Christopher says: “There is no shortage of young people wanting to work in forestry and woodland management. We know from research and from those applying to join our Forestry Roots programme that many want careers in forestry related jobs. However, they tell us when they look at courses or apply for jobs, they are faced with barriers. It is the next generation who will manage the trees we need to battle climate change and to achieve Net Zero targets. We must make sure they have the skills.”

He wants to see:

Christopher Williams explains: “It remains incredibly difficult for young people to find out about the many exciting jobs there are in forestry. This is especially true for those in urban areas or without families already working in land-based sector. Even if they do hear about the potential careers, the basic apprenticeship pay is too low to survive on for those without family financial support. Many cannot afford to move to access Higher Education or Further Education away from home. Some employers ask for evidence of volunteering skills. This can exclude a whole raft of people for whom time spent volunteering is not economically possible. If someone is paying college fees and/or accommodation, they may need to earn from part time jobs to cover those bills. For those with skills who have discovered their original career choices were not for the person they have now become, it is very hard to change. You may well still be paying off your original degree, have mortgage and family commitments. The costs of another degree can be unreachable.”

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Posted On: 12/10/2023

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