SCOTTISH WOODLANDS LAUNCHES LATEST GRADUATE PROGRAMME
Scottish Woodlands Ltd has launched its latest hunt for the brightest and best future forestry leaders as its Graduate Development Programme opens for 2023.
The industry-leading programme was launched in 2017 to address forestry and wood skills challenges head-on - and now almost 40% of managers in the company are “home-grown”.
The company has taken on 43 graduate trainees since the start of the Scottish Woodlands Graduate Development Programme - now open for positions starting in summer 2023.
“It’s always an exciting time when we open up a new recruitment window for the Graduate Development Programme.” said Lynne MacDonald, Head of HR at Scottish Woodlands Ltd. “We have brought some excellent, talented people into the business through the programme and we look forward to another great crop of recruits for 2023.”
The programme offers graduates experience of life as forest manager and a strong foundation for a future career in forestry - with a strong focus on technological advances such as digital mapping and remote sensing, mobile devices and apps.
Last year was the largest intake yet, with ten graduates joining the programme.
“We have shown ourselves to be experts at growing trees and managing forests over many years - and now we are growing our own future managers and leaders,” said Ralland Browne, Managing Director of Scottish Woodlands Ltd. “Scottish Woodlands Ltd is growing as a business - along with the forestry industry more generally - and we need more skilled people in all areas of our business."
“We are delighted with the success of our graduate programme so far and I look forward to welcoming many more highly impressive young people onto the scheme and growing more of those future leaders.”
The company employs more than 220 people in 19 different offices all across Scotland as well as northern England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A total of 17 graduates are in the process of completing their programme.
The new recruits will have the opportunity to work in a variety of locations and learn about forest planning, new woodland creation, timber harvesting, grant applications, working with contractors, forestry finance and much more. In addition, they are joining a company 80% owned by its employees, which Mr Browne says gives Scottish Woodlands a unique feel.
“We are like a family business in many ways, but also at the forefront of new environmental and technological developments in the forestry and timber industry,” he said. “New graduate recruits know they can grow their careers with us - and then become part of the Scottish Woodlands story by taking a share in the business.”
All those taking part in the graduate programme have a mentor to support their development through the business. Lynne MacDonald added: “All our existing staff recognise the value of the programme and of supporting new recruits to get the very best experience. Mentoring and sharing expertise is a big part of that.”
Jemma McLachlan, Assistant Environment Forest Manager (Graduate), joined the programme in September 2021. She said: “I was drawn to the Scottish Woodlands Graduate programme because of the high reputation of the company and the excellent career prospects and level of training provided. Having obtained a degree in environmental science and sustainability, the opportunity to work in a sustainable and environmentally conscious industry which also helps Scotland achieve its environmental targets was highly appealing."
“The programme so far has been really interesting and enjoyable, and I have learned so much about the breadth of the modern forestry industry.”
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