Do you have a love of nature and want to play a key role in protecting one of Scotland’s most valuable renewable resources? This apprenticeship teaches the necessary skills for success in the trees and timber industry. 

The sector covers forest and woodland management, environmental research, conservation training and a wide range of other roles that safeguard and preserve Scotland’s forests. Youll develop a deep understanding of forestry protection and management techniques. In addition, you can work in areas of outstanding natural beauty across the length and breadth of Scotland.  

Whether you’re looking to work as a forester or educate others about our natural world, there are a wide range of opportunities available. Protect delicate woodland ecosystems as a forest supervisor. Revitalise damaged industrial land as a community forester. Ensure sustainable development as an arboriculture surveyor. 

However you see your career in this industry progressing, this apprenticeship is designed to equip you with the long-term skillset required by employers in this sector. 

What's the qualification?

You will gain a Modern Apprenticeship qualification at either SCQF level 5 or 6 in Trees and Timber. This course includes: 

  • Core skills training alongside specialised SVQ course units 
  • Two enhancement modules allowing apprentices to gain additional relevant qualifications in areas such as emergency first aid and equipment usage and repair 
  • Hands-on work experience in a professional industry setting 

SCQF qualification levels explained

What will I learn?

During your apprenticeship, you could learn how to:   

  • Identify tree species and potential tree diseases or disorders 
  • Protect woodland areas through pest control and vegetation management 
  • Prepare forest sites for reforestation 
  • Carry out tree maintenance using power tools 
  • Harvest wood fuel from coppices 
  • Construct paths, access points and boundaries 
  • Seed, irrigate and protect new areas of forest  

You will also develop essential core skills including:  

  • Communication 
  • Information and communication technology skills 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Numeracy 
  • Teamwork  

These core skills can assist you in a range of job sectors beyond the trees and timber industry. These skills are transferable to jobs in agriculture, manufacturing, construction and many other vital Scottish industries. 

Where could it take me?

There are many options available to you after successfully completing this Modern Apprenticeship. You can continue your studies in Higher Education or begin work with the skills gained during your apprenticeship. 

Further education: Pursue Higher Education courses to develop your knowledge of the industry further. You could begin Higher Education study in relevant courses such as Arboriculture, Forest Sciences, Conservation and Forest Ecosystems and Sustainable Forest Management. You would likely enter a course at Higher National Certificate level with the opportunity to progress onto Higher National Diplomas, degrees or postgraduate qualifications. 

Straight to work: Use your Trees and Timber Modern Apprenticeship qualification to start work in the industry after graduation. Examples of the types of jobs you could move into are listed below:

  • Ground Worker 
  • Climber 
  • Tree Preservation Officer 
  • Community Forester 
  • Woodland Manager 
  • Forest Supervisor 
  • Arboricultural Surveyor 

Entry requirements

There are no formal education requirements to begin this apprenticeship at SCQF level 5. You can improve your chances of a successful application by showing an enthusiasm for the industry and a desire to learn the broad range of skills necessary to complete the course. 

Those applying at SCQF level 6 should show previous experience in the industry, such as previous work experience placements or qualifications such as the SCQF level 5 Modern Apprenticeship in Trees and Timber. 


This Modern Apprenticeship will take 12 months to complete at SCQF level 5 and 18 months to complete at SCQF level 6.  

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