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Forestry, Arboriculture Apprenticeship Level 2 at Herefordshire & Ludlow College

Course description

There are hundreds of career opportunities in forestry and arboriculture. From the moment a tree seed is collected from the wild and sown in a tree nursery, right up to when the mature trees in a forest or woodland are felled, there are many inter-linked businesses involved in their establishment, management and harvesting. These all offer interesting and well-paid work options. Career opportunities are diverse including running your own forestry, contracting or arboriculture/tree surgery, contributing to efforts to tackle issues as varied as climate change and social exclusion, as well as conserving rare wildlife and producing sustainable timber.

As an apprentice, the nature of your work will depend on your employer. Working for a small company could mean you handle a wide range of responsibilities - alternatively, working for a large company might mean you have a more specialised role. Skills taught could include preparing sites, planting trees and providing appropriate protection and maintenance, operating a chainsaw, felling and harvesting material, processing timber and disposal of residues, maintaining machines and equipment used in forestry and arboriculture. You may also learn to climb, perform aerial rescue and operate a chainsaw from a rope and harness. Apprenticeships are a well-respected and recommended route into this sector. 

Course content

  • Work based Diploma Level 2 in Trees and Timber (General Woodland and Forestry Tree work) - this is the competency part of the qualification and essential for you to achieve the full apprenticeship. This part shows that you are competent in performing the skill, trade or occupation your apprenticeship requires, enabling you to work and earn a decent wage.
  • Additional employer requirements - additional certificates including Emergency First Aid and a Certificate of Competence in the operation of equipment appropriate to your area of work
  • Functional Skills - Providing you with a good level of literacy and numeracy. Level 1 English, and Level 1 maths

Entry requirements

  • You would normally be expected to have 4 GCSEs at grade E or above (including maths and English), or a relevant vocational qualification at Level 1 or above.
  • Those applicants without formal qualifications but who can evidence substantial and relevant sector work experience will also be considered.
  • All applicants are offered a place subject to satisfactory interview and an initial assessment in maths and English.


Assessment will take place through practical training at college and work and via theory through a portfolio of evidence.

Workplace mentoring and assessment is also provided by the college throughout the training period together with close employer consultation on work options and progress.

College-based training is delivered through a combination of day and block release courses.

Future opportunities

Typical Employment:
From the Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship opportunities may include; forestry worker for a contractor or harvesting company, estate worker, ranger, arboriculture ground worker or climber for a contractor, local authority, business or utility company.

From the Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship opportunities may include; forest officer, forest craftsman, forestry/estate foreman, harvesting contractor, tree officer, tree surgeon or arborist.

Further Study:
Level 3 Work-based Diploma or Extended Diploma - progressing to higher education such as an HNC/HND or Foundation Degree or Level 4 Forestry & Countryside Technical Skills qualification.

Further information

Apprenticeships are designed with the help of the employers in the industry, so they offer a structured programme that takes you through the skills you need to do a job well. There are targets and checks to make sure that your employer is supporting you and you are making progress.

As an employee you will be in employment for most of your time as most training takes place on the job. The rest takes place at HLC. You can complete this off-the-job training on day release or over a number of days in a block. All the things you study at college will be useful in your job and help you succeed in your future career. Your employment will usually be for at least 30 hours per week.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Herefordshire & Ludlow College directly.

Last updated date: 23 June 2016

Key information