You are here... Home : Starting Out : School Leaver

School Leaver

What are your options in forestry after school?

Finishing school at sixteen can be an exciting prospect but also one that can be quiet daunting. Knowing the options available to you can help you decide what is the right move for you in the next stage of your personal and professional development.

Completing your GCSE’s opens a range of new opportunities but some will be dependent on you achieving certain grades from your GCSE results.

You may wish to move directly into full-time or part-time work at 16. Earning a wage is often very appealing to young people at this stage in life. However, before you make this decision you must be aware that you must stay in some form of education or training until your 18th birthday if you were born on or after 1 September 1997.

Your options are:

  •  Full-time education – school or college
  •  Apprenticeship or traineeship
  •  Part-time education or training – as well as being employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week

Full-time Education – Sixth form or College

There are different routes of entry into forestry via sixth form and college that can help you develop a more detailed knowledge of forestry or subjects that are related to forestry. A-levels provide a more theory based academic study pathway with several subjects that relate to forestry in different ways.

For those who are looking for a more practical hands-on pathway into the forestry sector colleges offering vocational courses may be the correct option. Undertaking full-time or part-time qualifications at college can be the ideal opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge required to progress within the forestry sector.

Apprenticeship or Traineeship

Apprenticeships combine practical on the job skills training with academic knowledge based learning. As an apprentice you will develop specific work based skills working alongside experienced and skilled professionals. At the same time you be will working towards achieving relevant qualifications typically studying one day a week. Not only will you be developing your skills and knowledge from within the industry but you will receive the additional benefits of gaining a wage and paid holiday. Apprenticeships can vary in duration from one to four years but on completion employment rates are typically high.

Within the forestry and sector there are a range of apprenticeship opportunities at a range of different levels. You can apply for an apprenticeship while you are still in school but you must be over 16 or over, living in the UK and not in full time education when you start an apprenticeship.

Part-time Education or Training, employment and volunteering

It is worth thinking about forestry jobs available for 16 year olds without qualifications and the potential opportunities and barriers to career progression that can arise later in life from moving directly into full or part-time work.

The forestry sector does provide job opportunities for school leavers most of which are low skilled manual labour jobs. These jobs will be based outdoors, working physically for long hours in all weather conditions. Jobs that require you to operate machinery such as chainsaws, chippers or clearing saws may require you to have a licence to practice qualification. To improve your chances of being successful when applying for such jobs it is advisable that you look at completing licences to practice as soon as is possible.