Forestry Skills Plan for England and Wales

The Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) is one of almost thirty forestry employers, associations and educational providers which have pledged to work together to attract the very best of young and new talent into the sector.

The five-year Forestry Skills Plan aims to increase numbers of new entrants and improve the skills of the current workforce so that the growing forestry industry can reach its full potential in coming years.    

The plan was developed by the Forestry Skills Forum following the 2017 publication of research led by the Royal Forestry Society ‘A Forestry Skills Study for England and Wales’.

The plan tackles identified shortages of skilled forest machine operators, chainsaw operators and tree planters, and suggests a need for a more rounded set of practical and business skills in graduate recruits. It also aims to promote forestry as a career within schools, attract a diverse range of new entrants to the industry, and halt a decline in numbers of forestry degrees and forestry training in colleges

The Forestry Skills Plan has four themes: talent attraction, skills and technical knowledge, education provision and employer support.  The themes have been split into separate action plans that partners will develop and deliver over coming years.

The Forestry Skills Forum believes that industry bodies can achieve more by collaboration than working in isolation, and the plan will facilitate the long term, coordinated, targeted approach to tackling skills issues. Forum members are committed to using the plan to prioritise activity, work together efficiently and take control of the skills agenda in order to develop a skilled forestry workforce for the future.

Read the full plan at http://www.rfs.org.uk/skills-forum/