“We are experts at growing trees and at growing our own future managers and leaders,” said Ralland Browne, Managing Director of Scottish Woodlands Ltd. “Forestry is a rapidly-growing profession and we need lots more skilled people in all areas of our business.
“We are delighted with the success of our graduate programme so far – 85% of those who have completed the programme are still with us, which is a great retention rate. I look forward to welcoming many more highly impressive young people onto the scheme and growing more of those future leaders.”
“We are like a family business in many ways, but we are also at the forefront of new developments in the forestry and timber industry,” he said. “The industry is booming and will continue to do so – because tree planting and wood use is so central to our climate change ambitions and is supporting rural economies across Scotland and beyond.
“Our new graduate recruits know that 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.
Pippa Paterson, who joined the graduate development programme in September 2020 and is based in Perth, said: “I’ve loved all the different elements of the programme. I’m a very practically-minded person, so the idea of learning as you go really appealed to me.
“I can’t believe how much I have packed into the first year and a bit – I’ve worked on a lot of forest plans across Perthshire and Angus, as well as new woodland creation schemes and operational work. I’m really passionate about getting more trees into the ground in the right places and it’s been great to work with such a wide range of clients – from small farm woodlands to large productive planting schemes.”
George Smith, who joined the programme in 2021, said: “I knew from researching Scottish Woodlands as a student that the variety of work would keep me on my toes and allow constant learning on the job. I also hoped the training opportunities provided would be a great benefit to expanding my knowledge.”
“Working with Scottish Woodlands has propelled me forward in my career goals and has given me new and valuable skills from day one. My long-term ambition is to keep learning and working hard to become a forest manager – and I’d 100% recommend the scheme to others.”