Government gives £1 million boost to Forestry skills training

Funding has been extended to cover new courses in arboriculture, which cover the care, management and safety of amenity trees.

Tree surgeon at work on a tree

Current and aspiring foresters and arboriculturists are set to benefit from an additional £1 million in funding, which from today, is being allocated to fund training courses in forestry and arboriculture across England, following an unprecedented demand.

The funding is primarily aimed at those considering changing their careers to one in forestry or arboriculture, as well as those already working in the sector. As the industry continues to grow, the funding will create more green jobs and boost the workforce where over 30,000 people are already dedicated to expanding and protecting our precious woodlands, contributing more than £2 billion to our economy every year.

The Forestry and Arboriculture Fund – formerly known as the Forestry Training Fund – has received exceptionally high uptake since its launch in February this year, with over 150 short course training providers having registered to offer courses and 1,100 training places already funded for the next two years.

The fund has today been extended to cover arboriculture courses, with £250,000 ringfenced specifically for courses which cover the care, management and safety of amenity trees, through skills such as aerial tree pruning, branch removal, and assisted felling.

Defra Forestry Minister, Trudy Harrison said: “As tree-planting and woodlands across the country increase, so must our forestry workforce. We are committed to growing the sector and increasing green jobs which will be made possible through this significant funding of Forestry and Arboriculture courses, as we continue to ensure at least 16.5% of the country is covered in trees by 2050”.

Forestry Commission Chief Executive, Richard Stanford said: “England’s forestry sector plays an essential part in creating resilient forests and woodlands which improve our natural environment, helping meet net zero carbon emissions, provide a sustainable source of home-grown timber and boost people’s health and wellbeing. The additional funding provided through the Forestry and Arboriculture Training Fund, will ensure that more people across the country, from all backgrounds, are able to build and diversify their skills in forestry. I encourage anyone looking to join the sector or up skill to apply today. The Forestry and Arboriculture Training Fund is already playing an instrumental role in helping deliver the government’s England Trees Action Plan, which sets out how we will shape the country for future generations through a significant increase in tree-planting and woodland creation, which is supported by over £675 million from the Nature for Climate Fund”.

Here is the list of training providers and funding applications.