A unique on-line forestry careers portal, supported by a wide range of organisations and hosted by the Royal Forestry Society (RFS), is being launched in time for the new academic year.
Developed in partnership with the Forestry Learning and Development Group, the Portal is the first on-line resource of its kind. It will be officially launched at the Confor Woodland Show at the Longleat Estate on 11 September, and can be accessed via a careers portal tab on the RFS home page at www.rfs.org.uk or at http://www.rfs.org.uk/forestry-career-portal/
RFS Education Manager Phil Tanner said: “The Forestry Sector is growing and we need to inspire many more people to consider forestry and woodland management as worthwhile careers.
“Recent statistics suggest that 53% of forestry workers are over 40, and only 11% are under 25, indicating that in the coming years we will see a shortage of skilled and experienced foresters. This potential shortage could become of greater concern if the Government’s proposals to increase the number of UK woodlands and foresters under management are met.
“One of the acknowledged barriers to entry was the lack of comprehensive information on the type of careers available to those entering the sector, the range of qualifications and the colleges and universities that provide them. As a group we have come together to bring all that information under one single site.”
The site has been designed to be useful for prospective students and their parents, for those looking to change careers and to enter forestry for the first time and for those seeking to move on within the sector.
It offers information and guidance on how to enter the sector, qualifications, education providers, apprenticeships, careers. continued professional development, jobs and further opportunities.
Forestry Commission England’s Steve Fowkes describes it as: “Packed with up-to-the minute information, it will provide a one-stop-shop for those new entrants the industry so badly needs. We hope it will help to boost the numbers of those entering the forestry sector.“
The Forestry Learning and Development Group includes BiFor (B’ham Uni), CLA, Confor, Crown Estate, Duchy of Cornwall, Forestry Commission England, Forest Education Network, Forestry Learning Network, Forest Schools Association, ICF, Lantra Harper Adams Uni, Hereford and Ludlow College, RFS, Schumacher College, Smallwoods, Sylva Foundation, UPM Tilhill and independents – Ros Burnley and Ted Wilson.