Forest in England

Government funding skills training with wider benefits

The government has announced that new funding is being set aside to help increase skills and training in the forestry industry, with wider benefits to be accessed.

Training courses for current and aspiring foresters and arboriculturists will look to support the industry as it grows, thanks to the government’s tree programme worth £275 million. In addition to this, more green jobs will be created to help boost the workforce and contribute more than £2 billion to the economy.

A range of areas will be covered through the newly funded training courses, include:

  • Chainsaw operation
  • Operating heavy machinery
  • Planning and planting new woodland
  • Deer management
  • Marketing and selling timber
  • Aerial tree pruning
  • Branch removal

Since it was launched at the beginning of this year, the Forestry and Arboriculture Fund has seen an exceptionally high uptake, with more than 1,100 training places being funded for the next two years. This has also now been extended, as courses covering the care, management and safety of amenity trees being given £250,000 of ring-fenced funding .

Trudy Harrison, Defra Forestry Minister, said:

“As tree-planting and woodlands across the country increase, so must our forestry workforce.

“We are committed to growing the sector and increasing green jobs which will be made possible through this significant funding of Forestry and Arboriculture courses, as we continue to ensure at least 16.5% of the country is covered in trees by 2050.”

An integral role is already being established, with the Forestry and Arboriculture Training Fund being central to the government plans to use the England Trees Action Plan to establish how the country will be for future generals. This is through increased tree-planting and woodland creation, as well as £675 million of investment through the Nature for Climate Fund.

Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, Richard Stanford, added:

“England’s forestry sector plays an essential part in creating resilient forests and woodlands which improve our natural environment, helping meet net zero carbon emissions, provide a sustainable source of home-grown timber and boost people’s health and wellbeing.

“The additional funding provided through the Forestry and Arboriculture Training Fund, will ensure that more people across the country, from all backgrounds, are able to build and diversify their skills in forestry. I encourage anyone looking to join the sector or upskill to apply today.”


Image credit: iStock

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