Published by Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at University of Greenwich, London

Student placements with Forestry Commission Scotland

Students looking for year-long placements could look to the Forestry Commission, who are seeking applications as outlined below:
Background Information

Forestry Commission Scotland invites applications from students for the opportunity to obtain work experience within a forest environment as part of its Skills Programme.  Applicants must be studying for a degree or diploma in Forestry, a Forestry related subject or Civil Engineering.

There are limited places available within our Forest Districts, Conservancies and Community Woodlands throughout Scotland.

Each placement lasts 51 weeks from September 2014 to August 2015. They are full time positions (37 hours per week) however, flexible working pattern requests will be considered ie compressed hours, some home working etc. This experience allows the student to develop a strong, diverse and meaningful understanding of the job, become an active member of a professional team and build up a good working relationship with staff across all functions.

Students find they get as much out of this experience as they are prepared to put into the partnership – it’s very much a two way process. Details of your placement on your CV will be of great interest in the future to prospective employees.

The placements are salaried (currently £15,294 per annum paid monthly less deduction for income tax and National Insurance), and you will also receive 25 days paid annual leave. The Skills Programme will deliver formal training as part of the placement, cost of travel to training locations and subsistence will be met. Accommodation, day to day living expenses and travel to and from your placement will have to be covered by you, however, most sponsors are aware of local, reasonably priced accommodation and will be able to assist you in finding somewhere to stay.


Person Specification
What we expect
You will need to persuade us throughout the application process that this would be the ideal programme and career for you and that you are the best choice for us.
These are the skills and abilities which we would expect you to have already or be able to demonstrate that you have the potential to develop:
Working with People
Co-operate with and support colleagues and others to build, maintain and improve good working relationships to achieve best practical outcomes; be reliable, flexible and able to adapt your leadership style to suit different people and situations.

You will need to show that you can share appropriate information, knowledge and experience with the right people at the right time and that you can be clear, structured, articulate and persuasive when dealing with sensitive and complex issues.
Deliver Results
You will need to make the best use of available resources to achieve objectives as well as meet standards and customers’ needs. Make informed decisions but know when to refer upwards for advice.

Learn and Apply
You will be aware of your strengths but will also develop an Individual Learning Plan to help you further develop new or existing skills that will enhance your ability to make a positive and effective contribution to the business, and to improving business processes.

From experience we know that you will also need to be prepared to:
Work by yourself or in a team, so think about how you will feel in these types of work situation and if you have particularly strong preferences for either.
Be resilient, especially if you have to move far away from friends and family, sometimes to a remote part of the country. Although we will do everything we can to support you, you do need to think about how you will manage under these circumstances.
Learn new things – Don’t underestimate the level of knowledge and understanding that you will need to acquire. You will be expected to take part in training delivered as part of the Skills Programme. During your time with The Forestry Commission you will be surrounded by people with diverse knowledge and experience which we would expect you to tap into as part of your own learning.
We do not expect you to know everything about us before you apply for this programme but we do expect you to research us so that you can genuinely show an interest in being part of what we do.


Additional Information
As forests districts and conservancy regions cover large geographic areas, the duties of this post require the applicant to have a full current driving licence that enables them to drive in the UK. However, the Forestry Commission is willing to consider any proposals put forward by applicants that would allow them to do the job by other means.

Licence holders must ensure that they have held their licence and have accumulated at least 6 months driving experience by August 2014. If you cannot satisfy this criterion unfortunately you will not be invited for interview.

In many cases official transport is provided for work purposes. However, you should expect to have to find your own way to and from the agreed starting point each day.

Whilst some students express a preference for specific locations we cannot guarantee to place them exactly where they want to go. Many students do use their placement year to “try out” areas of Scotland they have never visited to broaden their horizons and gain new life experience before settling down to a permanent job.

Locations of the placements are:

Cowal & Trossachs FD – Aberfoyle

Scottish Lowlands FD – West Calder
Dumfries & Borders FD – Ae
Dumfries Galloway FD – Newton Stewart
North Highland FD – Dornoch
Inverness, Ross & Skye FD – Inverness
Moray & Aberdeenshire FD – Huntly
Tay FD – Dunkeld
West Argyll FD – Lochgilphead
Lochaber FD – Fort William
Central Scotland Conservancy – Hamilton
Highlands & Islands Conservancy – Dingwall
South Scotland Conservancy – Dumfries


How to Apply
Placement applications should be made using the Forestry Commission online iGrasp recruitment system.

Your application should consist of a CV and a covering letter stating the following;

• Your reason for applying?
• Based upon the expectations above, what you feel you could bring to the organisation?
• What benefits you think you could gain from spending a year with the FC?

Outline of the Recruitment process is:
Jan/Feb 2014
Students invited to upload their CVs and covering letter to the Forestry Commission online recruitment system.
Feb/March 2014
Successful candidates invited to interview.
24 March – 4 April 2014

Interviews at locations to be confirmed.
May 2014
On acceptance of a placement, successful students will be put in touch with the sponsoring forest district and their mentor. A preliminary visit is often worth arranging to meet staff, arrange accommodation and get a feel for the area and the work.
1 September 2014
Students report to their Placement office.
8 September 2014
All students attend an week long Induction course at the Forest of Ae.
Should you require any further information please contact your tutor or Claire Eadie on 0131 314 6341 or e-mail:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: