Jacob Goodwin, from Wrexham, has won the ‘Top Performing Student’ award on the Tilhill Level 3 Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture.
Jacob received a specially carved wooden trophy along with £250 prize money. The award was presented by Simon Miller, Tilhill Senior Forest Manager and Assistant Forest Manager, Simon Smith at the Coleg Cambria Llysfasi awards ceremony.
Jacob, first started on a Level 1 course in Land-Based Studies without any clear idea of what he wanted to do for the future.
The course was broad and gave him a taste of different areas of work, including agriculture and machinery, forestry, and conservation. Jacob developed an interest in working in forestry and went on to take the Level 2 course in Agricultural Machinery before joining the Tilhill Extended Diploma in 2021.
The 19-year-old, who also works for a local tree surgery company, said: “It has been a pleasure to take part in the Tilhill diploma for the last two years. I never thought I could learn so much in such a short time and it made me realise how much potential is out there for the future!
“I prefer practical learning and getting hands on with different tasks and I think this diploma balances different styles of learning perfectly. The most enjoyable time in the diploma was when we were exploring the various stages of timber processing from felling trees in our plantation, transporting them back to college and using our sawmills to cut them to different specs! I also thoroughly enjoyed the arboriculture aspect of the course where we experienced carrying out aerial surveys of different trees and carried out specified work.
“It feels amazing to be presented with such an incredible award after all the hard work that has been put in within the last 2 years and I am very grateful.
“My plan for the near future is to pursue a career in Tree Surgery which is a very rewarding job and will help me build my knowledge up even more! I hope to transfer my skills into commercial forestry later and explore the potentials that the sector has to offer.”
Simon Miller, Tilhill Forest Manager on presenting the award, said: “The Institute of Chartered Foresters announced in 2021 an industry shortfall of 10,000 trained workers, something which Tilhill is continuously working to address through initiatives like the Tilhill Diploma and Foresight Sustainable Forestry Skills Training Programme.
“The Tilhill Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture, is part of a unique partnership between Coleg Cambria Llysfasi and Tilhill, specially designed to prepare enthusiastic people in Wales for a successful career in forestry. The course will get you ‘industry ready’ and trained for employment, therefore, it is great to see Jacob already in a role within forestry in tree surgery.
“A huge congratulation to Jacob for his hard work and we wish him a long and fruitful career in forestry.”
Andy White, coordinator of the Tilhill Diploma at Llysfasi, said: “Jacob achieved practical qualifications alongside his main course, including first aid, brushcutters, woodchipper, chainsaw and tree climbing. He has particularly enjoyed the tree climbing units. He is cheerful and enthusiastic, works hard and is very capable, and always ready to try anything. We hope the Tilhill award will inspire him to further success in the future.
“Coleg Cambria Llysfasi are extremely lucky and grateful, to have the support, knowledge, and skills of Tilhill staff, readily available, and their willingness to share this with our students is invaluable.
“This vital link between education and industry is an important part of our commitment to providing clear pathways through education and training, and into work in forestry and woodland management. As a college we recognise the challenges of recruitment within the sector, but also the exciting opportunities available to those willing to learn and work with trees and woodlands. There has never been a better time to think about a career in forestry, or a change in career, and we are here to make that happen.”
For more information, visit the website; https://www.tilhill.com/about-us/tilhill-diploma.
Visit www.cambria.ac.uk for the latest news and information from Coleg Cambria.