Game and Wildlife modern apprentice Callum Low from Arbroath is one of many young Scots choosing a vocational route into work.
The recent winner of Lantra Scotland’s Land-based Learner of the Year Award has championed Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Scheme which offers new and existing employees the opportunity to gain skills and qualifications in the workplace, without the need for full-time study.
Callum has taken full advantage of the scheme, which has helped him excel as an apprentice gamekeeper at Invermark Estate, the 55,000 acre sporting estate in the heart of Angus, owned by Lord Dalhousie.
He is currently undertaking his Modern Apprenticeship Level 2 in gamekeeping.
Callum has developed into one of Invermark Estate star apprentices and was recently rewarded for his efforts by winning the top accolade at the Lantra Awards as well as the Game and Wildlife Learner of the Year and Modern Apprentice of the Year awards.
Callum said: “It was great to be recognised for my efforts and win these awards.
“The Modern Apprenticeship Scheme is a great way to start your career.
A £300,000 initiative to encourage more women to consider forestry as a career is being launched at the Royal Highland Show.
Four of the top public sector jobs in this field are now held by women but only 30% of the workforce in the Forestry Commission is female.
The Scottish government is introducing a variety of schemes.
They include a skills programme with hands-on forestry training for young women.
More than 80 women have already been trained but the extra funding will support another 20 female trainees.
Lesley Stalker, a woodland warden with the Forestry Commission, began as an apprentice two years ago. Before that she was a beautician.
“It was something completely different to anything I’d done before,” she said.
‘Make a difference’
“I enjoy being outdoors, I enjoy trying to make a difference and I think there are so many green space areas out here that not a lot of people know about.
“It’s trying to get the local communities involved, letting them see what’s on their doorstep and trying to make a difference for them as well.”