Apprenticeship - Forest & Timber

Forestry Commission

Closing date: 7 Jan 2018

Reference number



£17,316 - £17,527


Administrative Assistant
Apprentice (Pay Band 7)

Contract type


Length of employment

2 Years

Business area

FE Scotland

Type of role

Operational Delivery

Working pattern



37 hours per week

Number of posts



Ae, Scotland, DG1 1QB OR Newton Stewart, Scotland, DG8 6AJ

About the job

Job description

Background Information

Do you have a passion for working outdoors? Would you like to help shape and preserve some of Scotland’s woodlands and wildlife habitats, so that they can be enjoyed by visitors and local wildlife for years to come? Would you like a job where no two days are ever the same? Have you just left education, or perhaps you’re looking for new career? Would you like to gain a fully funded industry recognised qualification whilst earning?
FES are delighted to offer a number of apprenticeships based in our Dumfries & Borders Forest District (Based at Ae Village) and Galloway Forest District (Based at Newton Stewart). This is an excellent opportunity to work, study and gain key skills and experience within a supportive organisation with plenty scope for progression.

We are interested in hearing from candidates from all backgrounds, regardless of previous experience.

Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship, candidates will have the opportunity to apply for a range of permanent roles within Forestry Enterprise Scotland. Please note that although there is no guarantee of a permanent role, there will be a number of permanent vacancies will be available to apply for.

We urge candidates to refer to the 'Other Information' paragraph further down this page to ensure that they complete the relevant additional paperwork to accompany their application, and for guidance on how to complete competency based questions

Purpose of the Job

To work in a supported learning environment whilst developing the relevant knowledge and skillset required based on the SVQ framework to complete a Modern Apprenticeship in Trees & Timber.

To work alongside Forest district work teams to support the organisation in a range of Forest Management Operations.

Key Work Areas

The establishment of new plantations including planting trees, weeding plantations, pesticide application, and mechanical cleaning (clearing saw and chainsaw).

The maintenance of existing plantations including the repair/replacement of deer and stock fences using appropriate equipment and safe aids. The creation and on going maintenance of recreation facilities including paths, signs, grass cutting / strimming.

Forest inventory survey works, including vegetation, wildlife, and environmental.

Undertake other operations as detailed in conservation, archaeological and recreation management plans.

Learn and undertake Health and Safety tasks relevant to your work, including the wearing and utilisation of personal protective equipment (PPE), and prepare and maintain records for supervisors and team members.

Other Information

Please note that applicants MUST complete the Situational Judgement Test, which can be downloaded from the ‘Attachments’ section near the bottom of the job advert. Applicants should download the test, complete it, and then upload it in the ‘Additional Attachments’ section of the application process. Applications submitted without a completed Situational Judgement test will be automatically sifted as unsuccessful and will not be progressed to the next stage.

Candidates are not limited to providing examples based on work related experiences when completing the application form - we are keen to hear about experience drawn from a number of situations, including educational, social, and sporting.

For help on answering competency based questions, please refer to the guidance attached at the bottom of this job advert.

Person Specification

Experience and Professional/Technical Expertise


Demonstrate a keen interest in the forest or land-based industry and willingness to develop a career within the forestry or land-based sector.

Demonstrate a practical aptitude for outdoor tasks

Be safety conscious and mindful of risk

Committed to completing the apprenticeship

Ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and face to face

Able and willing to follow instruction and learn new tasks

Work well both within a team and independently

Have a positive and proactive outlook to change

Have due regard to equal opportunities

Willing to take responsibility for own development


Previous knowledge and experience of Forest and Land Based Industries

Have an awareness of Health and Safety Legislation and Procedures

Good attention to detail with the ability to collect and record clear data

Ability to solve problems and continually look to improve the way things are done

Core Competencies

Seeing the Big Picture

Understand what is required of you in your role and how this contributes to team and Departmental priorities.

Leading and Communicating

Put forward your views in a clear and constructive manner, choosing an appropriate communication method, e.g. email/ telephone/ face to face.

Act in a fair and respectful way in dealing with others.

Collaborating and Partnering

Proactively contribute to the work of the whole team.

Seek help when needed in order to complete your work effectively.

Building Capability for All

Recognise and take time to achieve your learning and development objectives.

Find ways to learn and personally improve in the completion of day-to-day tasks.

Managing a Quality Service

Act to prevent problems including health and safety, reporting issues where necessary.

Gain the knowledge needed to follow the relevant legislation, policies, procedures and rules that apply to the job.

Delivering at Pace

Work in an organised manner using your knowledge and expertise to deliver on time and to standard.

Take responsibility for the quality of your work and keep your manager informed of how the work is progressing.


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

The successful candidates will be able to obtain a drivers licence within six months of taking up post.


We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:

  • Demonstrate a keen interest in the forest or land-based industry and willingness to develop a career within the forestry or land-based sector.
  • Seeing the big picture
  • Leading and communicating
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Building capability for all
  • Managing a quality service
  • Delivering at pace
  • Experience & Skills

    Please identify whether you meet any of the desirable criteria listed, please give brief examples of how you meet these.

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Selection process details

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

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.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. 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

Sift/interview dates and location

Sift Date - 14th December 2017
Interview Date - 16-18th January 2017

Further information

Applications will be received up until 11.59pm on the closing date.

If a large volume of applications are received, then we will sift on Demonstrate a keen interest in the forest or land-based industry and willingness to develop a career within the forestry or land-based sector and the Lead Competency, Building Capability for All. However candidates will be expected to answer questions on all competencies at the interview stage.
This is a Fixed Term Appointment for two years.

Appointments to the Forestry Commission are made at the entry level of the salary quoted above except in exceptional circumstances where a candidates’ experience and skills may justify a higher starting salary.

The successful candidate will be required to undertake a Basic Disclosure check in line with HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard.

Details of the UK school leaving age rules are located at All candidates will be subject to UK school leaving age legislation.

In the 2011 Autumn Statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the public sector pay awards will average at one percent. This policy continues to apply in the Forestry Commission for the 2017/18 financial year.

Important: Data Protection Act (1998). The information you have supplied in your application will comprise personal data (as such term is defined by the Data Protection Act 1998) (the DPA), some of which may be classified as sensitive-personal data (as such term is defined by the DPA). The Department will be the data controller (as such term is defined by the DPA) in respect of the personal data. The Department will process your personal data fairly and lawfully in accordance with the principles of the DPA for the purposes of recruitment. The Department will share your personal data, including any sensitive personal data, with Civil Service Resourcing who provide and maintain the CS Jobs e-Recruitment portal and are our data processor for these purposes.

If you are offered a job, certain elements of data will be shared with the appropriate authorities to process checks including the National Collection of Criminal Records or with HM Revenue & Customs. These authorities will protect the information which you provide, process it fairly and lawfully in accordance with the principles of the DPA and will ensure that it is not passed to anyone who is not authorised to see it.

By agreeing that your application is subject to the above statements, you are explicitly consenting for the personal data you provide to be processed in the manner described. If you have any concerns about any of the questions or what we will do with the information you provide, please see our Data Protection Statement, or e-mail us for further information.

If you have any queries regarding our application process please contact

If you are an external candidate, and you believe that the Civil Service Commission's Recruitment Principles have been breached, you may submit a complaint to the Head of HR, clearly explaining the way in which you believe the Recruitment Principles have been breached. The Head of HR will assess compliance with the Recruitment Principles but will not review the decision(s) of the selection board.

If you are not satisfied with the response from the Head of HR, you may submit an appeal to the Civil Service Commission, as set out in the complaint outcome letter from the Head of HR. For more information on the Civil Service Commission Complaints Procedure, please follow the link below -

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