The company that pioneered the world’s first chainsaw is joining forces with the Forestry Commission to help train the next generation of foresters.

STIHL has announced that it will sponsor the 2015 Forestry Commission England Apprentice Programme, supplying 14 apprentices with the tools and safety equipment they will need for their two years of training. The programme will equip them with skills crucial for the management of the UK’s forests, enabling them to make an important contribution to rural communities.

More than 1,000 people applied to join the Apprentice Programme, and the successful applicants will now be trained in every area of forestry work including health and safety, pollution control, clearing, tree felling, planting and fencing.

STIHL is supporting the programme by supplying each of the 14 apprentices with:

  • STIHL MS 261 C-M chainsaw
  • STIHL C-M clearing saw
  • STIHL protective clothing

Ian Gambles, Forestry Commission Director for England, says the programme is a fabulous opportunity and teaming up with STIHL makes perfect sense all round:

“There could soon be a shortage of foresters as much of the current labour force begins to retire. This programme will give these young people the best training available, teaching all the fundamental skills to put them in prime position for future job opportunities. There is no other programme like this in the country. Forest

management and tree felling are highly-skilled activities and we must always remember the importance of well-maintained and reliable tools alongside quality protective equipment to ensuring a job well done and getting home safely.”

Rory Stewart, Rural Affairs Minister, said:

“Forests and woodland are one of the most precious elements of our natural heritage. I am delighted that the 2015 Forestry Commission England Apprentice Programme will help ensure the forestry sector has a passionate and skilled workforce for the future.

Increasing the number of apprentices is also a key pledge of the Government’s Rural Productivity Plan – designed to harness the enormous economic potential England’s rural areas have to offer – for the prosperity and benefit of everyone in the UK. This is fantastic news.”

Simon Hewitt, Head of Marketing at STIHL GB, says the decision to support the initiative was an easy one.

“STIHL is committed to encouraging a thriving and enduring forestry sector in Britain, and we are proud to support this scheme that will bring valuable and skilled newcomers into the industry.  We wish all the new apprentices the best in their future careers.”

The new agreement builds on STIHL’s 2014 Forestry Commission Apprenticeship of the Year sponsorship, which rewarded apprentice Cameron Williams for his efforts on last year’s programme.

More information can be found at


Latest Issue

BDC 299 December 2022