Higher Education Institutes Discuss Forestry Careers

Higher Education Institutes Discuss Forestry Careers


On Wednesday, 21 January, ICF gathered a number of Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) in Manchester for a seminar that addressed the deficit in forestry and arboricultural graduates in the UK. The meeting examined the current misconceptions of what a career in forestry entails, and discussed possible ways of attracting more school-leavers into forestry-related courses.

Typical barriers to students considering the profession were highlighted, which included parents ideas about the nature of the profession, and a lack of awareness of the diverse careers within the sector. Misconceptions of barriers to women in the profession and increasing restrictions on children in relation to outdoor play, were also noted. In relation to the latter issue, Sally York, Education Policy Advisor at Forestry Commission Scotland, asked the group to consider the difference between allowing a child to climb a tree, now often the subject of contention, and letting them spend time unsupervised on the internet, which is becoming more and more commonplace.

The meeting also heard from a number of leading forestry and arboricultural sector employers, including Guy Warren MICFor of CKD Galbraith Forestry, Sharon Hosegood FIFCor of Sharon Hosegood Associates Ltd, Neil Strong MICFor of Network Rail and Alison Field MICFor of Forestry Commission England. A series of presentations by this group looked at employer trends and described their ‘ideal employee’ – qualities that that they would look for in a graduate. Interpersonal skills, professionalism and the desire for a meaningful career, featured as some of the most desirable attributes of a potential employee. The need for more student placements – both secondary and third-level opportunities – was expressed by the gathered HEIs.

The Institute will continue to work with this group of HEIs to turn outcomes of this useful meeting into actions for career promotion. A full list of HEIs with ICF accredited courses are available on our Where to Study page.


SirTerryFarrell RichardGleed

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