Trees and Timber

Modern Apprenticeship



This Modern Apprenticeship helps you train employees in arboriculture, urban forestry, environmental forestry and research, or education and training in these fields.

It’s offered at 2 levels, making it suitable for those new to working with trees and timber, as well as staff with experience who want to develop their skills further.

Apprenticeship framework(s)

Your employee will study for a Modern Apprenticeship at SCQF Levels 5 and 6.

Select each level to see the framework document and qualification(s) at that level.

Entry requirements

To do SCQF Level 5, there are no set entry requirements, but candidates should be competent to complete the Level 2 SVQ.

To do SCQF Level 6, candidates must have one or more of the following:

  • the SCQF 5 Modern Apprenticeship

  • an SCQF Level 5 in Forestry or Arboriculture or an equivalent qualification 

  • equivalent and relevant experience

At both levels, candidates should:

  • show commitment to a career in the Trees and Timber industry

  • enjoy working with trees and the environment

  • enjoy working outside

  • be prepared to attend off-the-job training

  • be able to acquire the broad range of skills, knowledge and understanding required in the Modern Apprenticeship

Progression and development

When they complete the SCQF Level 5 Modern Apprenticeship, candidates should be able to achieve positions such as:

  • general aboriculture worker

  • ground worker

  • climber

  • general forest worker

  • forestry craftsman

  • forestry establishment contract worker

  • forestry harvesting contract worker

They could also progress onto the Level 6 apprenticeship and into further education courses such as: 

  • SVQ 3 Arboriculture

  • SVQ 3 General Woodland

  • Forestry and National Qualification Group Award

When they complete the SCQF Level 6 Modern Apprenticeship, candidates should be able to achieve positions such as:

  • lead ground worker

  • lead climber

  • arboricultural foreman/supervisor

  • arboricultural surveyor

  • tree preservation officer

  • forest foreman

  • harvest contractor

  • forestry establishment contractor

  • community forester

  • woodland manager

Those who wish to continue their development of skills and qualifications beyond the apprenticeship could progress to Higher Education courses such as:

  • arboriculture

  • urban forestry

  • tree care

  • forest sciences

  • forestry conservation and forest ecosystems

  • forestry and woodland management

  • sustainable forest management


How does it work?

Apprentices will learn in a real-world environment and earn a wage. They’ll also study with a college or other learning provider.

Cost and funding

We contribute towards training costs

We do this by paying the learning provider throughout the apprenticeship.

The training contribution calculator will show you our funding contribution for this framework.

An enhanced funding contribution is paid for employees aged 16 to 19. For those who are disabled and care-experienced, this is extended up to and including age 29.

Speak to a range of learning providers to find the best deal and agree on a flexible approach to meet your business needs.

Who pays the apprentice?

Like any other employee of your business, you’ll pay the Modern Apprentice's wages. This is not set by SDS, but we encourage all employers to pay the Living Wage. Remember, you must pay at least the National Minimum Wage.

How long will it take?

It will take 12 to 24 months to complete.

Need information or advice?

Call our advisors to find out more about Modern Apprenticeships.

0800 783 6000

Sounds right for your business?

The next step is to find a learning provider that offers this apprenticeship.

Find a learning provider