Forest Operative Apprenticeship

Level 2

A Forest Operative will carry out the practical operations required to create, maintain and harvest forests and woodlands.

Some will carry out operations across the range from planting to harvesting whilst others will specialise in a particular part of the process. All will need to be able and willing to do challenging work outdoors and, in all weathers, would be expected to be aware of the full range of forestry operations, and to understand the relationship between commercial, environmental and social forestry.

The pathway available is :

  • Harvesting.

What apprentices will learn

  • Identifying trees and plants
  • Controlling pests and diseases
  • Understanding the timber industry
  • Principles of plant growth and development
  • How to use equipment correctly

Qualifications Awarded

  • Apprenticeship Certificate
  • Level 3 award in emergency first aid at work (in a forestry context known as +F)
  • Level 2 award in chainsaw maintenance
  • Level 2 award in crosscutting timber using a chainsaw
  • Level 2 award in felling and processing trees up to 380mm
  • Level 1 in maths and English (if applicable)

 Harvesting pathway

  • Level 3 award in felling and processing trees over 380mm

Delivery model

A mix of online knowledge delivery and weekly practical learning at campus which willl include skills and knowledge assessment and undertaking practical learning period qualifications. Quarterly workplace competency and efficiency observation and assessments.

End Point Assessment

  • Practical exercise
  • Verbal knowledge questions
  • Multiple choice online knowledge test

Apprenticeship Graded

  • Fail, Pass, Distinction

Course details


Typically 24 Months

Entry Requirements

Maths and English assessment.

Job role suitability assessment.

To enrol onto an apprenticeship programme you need to be employed with a contract of employment. If you have an employer lined up or are already employed please contact our Apprenticeship Team on 01273 892127 or via email.

If you do not currently have an employer please visit the main Apprenticeships page for guidance on how to find and apply for an apprenticeship opportunity or register for our Talent Bank service.


  • Apprentices benefit from tutors and work coaches with over 20+ years’ experience of working within the forestry sector.
  • You'll have access to the latest equipment and technology and the college estate and surrounding South Downs National Park.
  • Apprentices receive discounts on a suite of college courses, such as Level 2 Award in the Safe use of Pesticides.

Ready to take the next step?

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