Borders Forest Trust gets cash to train youngsters

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WOODLAND work experience will be offered to three more unemployed young people at Borders Forest Trust, writes Sally Gillespie.

The charity heard last week it would get funding to continue to provide the training with cash from the government’s Community Jobs Scheme.

The news follows the success of Borderer Dean Fry’s six-month placement gaining forestry experience, which ends next month.

The 23-year-old from Hawick said: “It’s been great to be working outdoors and I’ve learned more in the last six months than I’ve learned since I left school. Hopefully I might be able to set up my own business or get more qualifications and work towards becoming a tree surgeon.”

Formerly unemployed, Dean joined BFT in March and has since worked in a variety of Borders woodlands, gaining his chainsaw certification and receiving training in herbicide application, quad bike use, woodland management and personal development as well as planting native trees.

BFT’s woodland site manager Tim Frost said: “Dean has been a real asset to Borders Forest Trust, working hard and learning a lot of new skills at our woodland planting sites. Hopefully it has given him a solid grounding in this type of work.”

A spokesperson for the trust said: “We’re committed to engaging people in woodlands and this project seemed an ideal way of helping people to gain employment in this field which can be challenging to do without experience.”

BFT has helped 10 young people gain woodlands work experience in recent years.