10 April 2019
Under an innovative new scheme initiated by the Royal Forestry Society (RFS), the Forestry Commission and delivered by Plumpton College, those leaving the Forces will be offered the opportunity to retrain in forestry, helping address the much recognised skills gap that currently exists across the sector.
The new scheme aims to raise awareness of the forestry industry within the military and the valuable transferable skills that ex-service people have that would suit the sector.
Simon Lloyd, Chief Executive, Royal Forestry Society, says:
Forestry is a dynamic and growing sector which needs to attract new talent to continue to thrive. We are proud to be a partner in what is the first land-based training programme to be offered through Careers Transition Partnership (CPT) to personnel whose Terms of Service in the Forces are coming to an end. There are many transferable skills those with a Forces background can bring to forestry. The RFS Level 2 Certificates are recognised as the ‘gold standard’ for demonstrating both practical and theoretical competence and will provide a springboard for those leaving the Forces to go on to have a rewarding career in the forestry and countryside sectors.
Of paramount importance is highlighting the transferable skills to the civilian forestry sector. Part of this education included a recent forestry showcase event hosted at Plumpton College where local businesses were invited to receive special talks about the developments within the industry, including the importance of recruiting a skilled workforce.
The project has been ‘in the making’ since 2015. The RFS and the Forestry Commission approached Plumpton College in 2017 to be the preferred forestry training provider as part of this transitional scheme. At the time, there were no land-based sectors represented for military transition. The course theory and practical elements have been developed with the RFS and Plumpton College with employability in mind.
The programme of study combines a mixture of theory and practical to give the starting knowledge and understanding to begin their careers in this diverse industry. The course itself is run over 8 weeks with one day set aside for theory units such as tree ID, introduction to diseases and tree biology. This is then underpinned in the field with learners undertaking training in a variety of competency tickets such as chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting, tree felling and the use of woodchippers. At the end of the course students will be equipped with the basic knowledge and certificates of competence to find employment and progress within the industry.
Jeremy Kerswell, Plumpton College Principal says:
We are very pleased to launch this new partnership with the Royal Forestry Society and the Forestry Commission to encourage military leavers into the world of forestry. I know their highly transferable skills and work ethic will fuel the next generation within this sector which is hungry for skilled workers. Plumpton College has ambitious plans to continue forging relationships with organisations to ensure the success of land-based industries and I know that this new partnership is another step in the right direction to achieve just that.
To find out more about Plumpton College and land-based career opportunities
A Career in Forestry for Military Leavers
with Plumpton College
come along to the next Open Day on the 11th May 2019.
Since the original 400-acre College farm was bought back in 1919, Plumpton College has certainly seen a lot of changes.