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9 Mar 2021

Fantastic four - new young faces for forestry

Four new students who are eager to start a career in the forest industries have taken their first steps up the ladder by joining Scottish Forestry.

Each student will be continuing their forestry studies whilst gaining invaluable on the job training, leading to a job within the agency.

The move is part of the Scottish Government’s drive to create additional employment opportunities for young people.

As part of their year-long programme, each of the new Assistant Woodland Officers will get practical experience working in Scottish Forestry, Forest Research and Forestry and Land Scotland.

Each of the four students fought off stiff competition to get onto the graduate programme, with their skills, past experience and positive attitude making them ideal candidates.

Welcoming the new students, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“This is brilliant news and I’m so pleased for each of the students who will get a first class grounding to start their career.

“It is a fantastic time to be working in forestry. The benefits that trees bring to our environment, our economy and our communities have never been so important.

“I wish all the new recruits the very best.”

The Scottish Government increased the budget for forestry next year which enabled Scottish Forestry to double its intake of students to their training programme.

Stuart Blackhall, Scottish Forestry’s Skills Development Manager added:

“It’s very important that we continue to bring in new people to the world of modern forestry and equip them with a rounded set of skills to do the job.

“We have been particularly keen to introduce more women into the sector to reduce the gender gap so it’s great that we’ve been able to attract both men and women to these roles.

“Hopefully they will all inspire others to think of forestry as a career too.”

Graeme Hill (Edinburgh), Jane Gibson (Coldstream), Tabitha Ewing (West Lothian) and Ross Wilson (Inverness-shire) have all been selected to undertake the new placements with Scottish Forestry.

Speaking on behalf of the students, new Assistant Woodland Officer Tabitha Ewing said:

“We are all really pleased to be joining the team at Scottish Forestry. Getting on the job training whilst undertaking our studies is a superb idea and we are all looking forward to getting out and about and being involved in forestry decisions and operations.”

Graeme, Tabitha and Ross will be based in Inverness-shire and Jane will be based in the Scottish Borders.