How an apprenticeship or placement can help you carve out a career in forestry

Undertaking an apprenticeship or a sandwich placement whilst studying is hugely beneficial. It will help you to gain valuable experience and prepare you for your chosen career path. At #TeamNRW many of our talented and dedicated staff benefitted from sandwich placements during their own studies and we’re keen to provide similar opportunities to the next generation who are looking to pursue a career in the environment.

Our Forestry teams currently have a fantastic opportunity available and are offering four paid placements next year for students who are undertaking a mid-year placement as part of their forestry or land management degree from a higher educational institution. We also offer other placements such as apprenticeships. Keep an eye on our website for upcoming opportunities

The placements are a valuable opportunity to work alongside our friendly, dedicated and experienced team of foresters and gain practical, hands on experience and knowledge in helping to manage the Welsh Government Woodland Estate and National Nature Reserves.

Here, Michael Cresswell, one of our Team Leaders and Elaine Harrison one of Senior Officers in our Forestry Operations teams, share what they’re looking for in potential candidates and their best advice for someone looking to pursue a career in forestry:

What do we offer through our placements?

Michael Creswell:

“NRW is fantastic place for students to get involved in our work. We manage 123,000 hectares of forests and woodland across Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government - that’s six percent of the country’s total land area - and around 40 percent of Wales’ woodlands. The placements we’re offering next year sit both in our Land Management and Forest Operations teams, meaning that you’ll have direct involvement in pretty much all aspects of forestry and land management.

We tailor our placements with each student based on their interests and final year dissertation plan. We’re really keen to make sure you gain as much practical and hands on experience as possible whilst you’re with us.You’ll spent the majority of your time out in some of the most beautiful locations Wales has to offer.

As a brief overview, your experience could involve directly any, or all, of the following; legal liability management, National Nature Reserve management, conservation work, tree safety, community and neighbour liaison, recreation infrastructure, forest planning, forest operations, tree planting and maintenance.”

Elaine Harrison:

“We also hope to be able to get you involved in our other teams across #TeamNRW such as our integrated engineering and wildlife management team so you gain a better understanding of their work and how it all fits together.”

What are we looking for in potential candidates?

Michael Creswell:

“We’re looking for a motivated person who is undertaking a relevant land management or forestry higher education qualification. We want someone who can demonstrate their ability to work with a range of people to provide some great mutual benefit to our teams and your learning.”

Elaine Harrison:

“Enthusiastic students who want to gain some real experience in the forestry sector. We want to hear about you and your experiences and how that would make you a great addition to #TeamNRW, so include it in your application – no matter how big or small. Try and think about relevant examples from your studies and how that might apply to what we do.

Best tip for someone looking to pursue a career in forestry?

Michael Creswell:

"Forestry is a fantastic career, with an extremely diverse range of options. There is no one clear path that everyone should take, so consider what works best for you. This could be by going through the practical route, apprenticeships, undertaking a degree or even a distant learning masters if changing careers later in life. If in doubt, reach out and speak to someone in the sector who can provide you with more details and advice relative to your circumstance."

Elaine Harrison:

"If you want to find out more about a career in forestry contact us, go on training events and look to get some experience. No day is ever the same, we can give you experiences that can put you in a great position to start your forestry career!"

Do you think you have what it takes to join #TeamNRW?

If you’re studying for a career in forestry or land management and think you have what it takes to join our fantastic forestry teams, we’d love to hear from you.

You can find out more about the placements and view the application form on our website.

Applications close January 31.

If you have any questions about the placements please get in touch : Michael.cresswell@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk

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