Trainee Forester (x3)

Trainee Forester (x3)

4 March, 2016


Reference number: 1484511

Job description

This vacancy is open at Stage 4 – External Recruitment.

Background Information on Unit

Forest Enterprise England (FEE) is offering three new positions as part of a Forester Development Programme to bring on new Foresters to help support the future management of England’s Public Forest Estate.

The posts will be permanent from the outset; however will involve a two year posting to Forest Districts (FD) within England to attain the necessary skills, experience and core competencies required to become a Forester. At the end of the two years the successful candidates must be prepared to move location to fill permanent Forester positions within England. As a fully qualified Forester the post holder will be awarded Operational Pay, which essentially provides additional salary to cover the additional hours and on call demands of this role.

Candidates selected for interview will be required to deliver a short presentation (maximum 10 minutes) on what they identify as the main future challenges and opportunities for forestry in England. There will also be a separate assessment to test how the candidates existing knowledge and transferable skills are applied to practical and/or theoretical problems in forestry.

North England FD, Central England FD and East England FD will each host a Trainee Forester. Background for each FD is provided below. Candidates with a location preference can provide this at the interview stage.

North England FD covers an area of 86000 hectares in Northumberland, Durham, Cumbria and north Lancashire. The Forest Management is James Simpson. The Trainee will be based at Bellingham and will work alongside experienced Foresters over several beats to deliver a range of operational and planning programmes.

Central England FD covers an area of 29000 hectares in a triangle from Blackpool to Hull to Milton Keynes and is headed by Andy Medhurst as Forest Management Director. The Trainee will be based at Sherwood or Cannock and will work alongside experienced Foresters over several beats to deliver a range of planning and operational programmes.

East England FD covers an area of 35000 hectares from North Norfolk to Brighton and is headed by Jim Lyon as Forest Management Director. The Trainee will be based at Santon Downham and will work alongside experienced Foresters in the Thetford Beat to deliver a range of operational and recreational programmes in England’s largest pine forest.

Purpose of the Job

Attain the necessary skills, competencies and experiences within the job to manage resources and deliver agreed programmes both safely and on budget, through an agreed Training and Development Plan during a two year period.

Key Work Areas

• Undertake Operational Site Assessments and Risk Assessment to minimise risks of forestry operations on safety and the .

• Manage the implementation of a range of forestry programmes and monitor operations to ensure adherence to industry best practice and internal FEE guidance taking corrective action where required.

• Prepare and manage budgets, ensuring that any essential variances are swiftly reported to the relevant manager.

• Procure, prepare and manage contracts successfully using FEE systems through to completion in line with FEE internal guidance.

• Line manage staff to give clear direction and support to deliver FD priorities. Undertake six monthly performance review meetings with staff and agree their annual training and development needs.

• Take the lead on specific FD project/s that will be assigned where opportunity arises.

• Undertake required work in other areas of the FD including Forest Planning and Recreation and Public Affairs which will involve dealing with the public and other stakeholders.

Person Specification

Experience and Professional/Technical Expertise


Hold (or will attain before the 1st of October 2016) a forestry related qualification from an institution that attracts a minimum of 6 academic points on the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) Accredited Courses Scheme.


Hold (or will attain before the 1st of October 2016) a forestry related qualification from an institution that attracts 5 academic points plus have worked 1 or more years in forestry to at least total 6 points towards ICF Professional Membership.


Candidates without a recognised academic qualification must be able to demonstrate equivalent expertise and experience through working in forestry that would attract 6 points towards ICF Professional Membership.

(Please refer the ICF Website should you require clarification on the ICF points system. If your qualification is not listed on the ICF website please contact ICF directly to determine the points applicable and state these within your application.)

Demonstrate an understanding of the main forestry operations and the controls needed to protect people and the environment.

Know what constitutes an effective forest or woodland management plan and why this is fundamental to delivering well managed woods.

Have experience working in team situations and demonstrate an ability to effectively manage people and cope with challenging situations to get the best results for all concerned.

Be proficient in using Microsoft Office packages.


Have practical experience working in forestry or other land management activities.

Be able to use technology such as Global Positioning Systems and Geographical Information Systems and understand its application in forestry.

Seeing the Big Picture

Keep up to date with a broad set of issues relating to the work of the Department

Take an active interest in expanding your knowledge of areas related to your role

Changing and Improving

Understand and apply technology to achieve efficient and effective business and personal results

Consider and suggest ideas for improvements, sharing this feedback with others in a constructive manner

Leading and Communicating

Display enthusiasm around goals and activities – adopting a positive approach when interacting with others

Listen to, understand, respect and accept the value of different views, ideas and ways of working

Collaborating and Partnering

Readily identify opportunities to share knowledge, information and learning and make progress by working with colleagues

Listen attentively to others and check your understanding by asking questions

Delivering Value for Money

Manage information and financial data so that it is accurate, easily located and reusable

Monitor resources against plans and budget, identify and flag up variances

Managing a Quality Service

Work with team to set priorities, create clear plans and manage all work to meet the needs of the customer and the business

Promote adherence to relevant policies, procedures, regulations and legislation, including equality and diversity and and safety


The duties of this post require the applicant to have a full current driving licence that enables them to drive in the . However, the Forestry Commission is willing to consider any proposals put forward by applicants that would allow them to do the job by any other means.


You will be asked to supply evidence of meeting these competencies when you apply.

  • Experience & Professional /Technical Expertise
  • Seeing the big picture
  • Changing and improving
  • Leading and communicating
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Delivering value for money
  • Managing a quality service

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you’re applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

‘An initial sift based on the lead competence ‘Experience & Professional /Technical Expertise’ may be held if a large number of applications are received. Where there is an initial sift on a lead competence, we will provide feedback to people who do not meet the minimum standard. For those who meet the minimum standard on the lead competence, all competences will then be considered and feedback provided’.

There will an interview with a short presentation and a separate assessment exercise to test candidates’ existing knowledge and transferable skills.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Douglas Howieson
0300 067 4202

Sift/interview dates and location

Sift – 30 March 2016
Interviews – 13 and 14 April 2016
Interview location – Birches Valley, Rugeley, WS15 2UQ

Further information

See FC website:

A reserve list will be held for a period of 6 months from which further appointments can be made.

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