Recently qualified, Craig’s journey to self employment started with a volunteer role at a local forestry business.
Like a lot of young people Craig had struggled with studying at school and doubted whether he would enjoy going to college. Volunteering made it clear to Craig that he was going to enjoy working outdoors and gave him the confidence to apply when a paid trainee role became available. Craig explains that he had doubts about the studying required to get qualified in forestry skills:
“I went for the volunteer work because I just thought “why not” but I wasn’t sure I’d manage at
college. When you read about how to do something it’s boring but when you see someone doing
it then get to do it yourself and learn that way it’s better.”
In the end learning based around practical work experience helped Craig succeed and he now has a number of qualifications which help him demonstrate to potential employers and customers that he can work safely using a chainsaw and other equipment with small and large trees. His first contract was on the Dalmeny Estate. He has since been offered work in the Highlands. How does he expect to find his next job?
“It’s word of mouth mostly in forestry. I have good references so that helps and when I’m looking
for work I get on the phone and just ask around.”
There’s not much Craig doesn’t like about forestry work. “Hairy” trees, those with many small
twiggy branches that take a lot of what foresters call “brashing” and hot weather get a mention.
But it is clear that working outdoors is a joy for Craig.
“Sometimes you turn off all the machines to have your lunch or to refuel or something and it is
just so peaceful. You can be in the middle of nowhere and it’s beautiful.”