• Slide 8

Land-based Agriculture, Forestry and Timber

The Land-based Agriculture, Forestry and Timber sector in Scotland

The Scottish Forestry and Timber industry is worth almost £1billion a year to the Scottish economy, and employs over 25,000 people. Over 2,500 of those are in Dumfries and Galloway.

The Scottish Land-based Agriculture industry has over 115,700 employees in 24,500 businesses. Agriculture contributes over £5,000 million to Scotland’s economy.

Career and job opportunities in Land-based Agriculture, Forestry and Timber

The rural workforce is Scotland is an ageing workforce, for example with just 9% of farm occupiers in Scotland aged under 40. This sector will need to recruit employees from the next generation to continue with agriculture’s traditional skills and to pioneer new ones.

Roles in agriculture include:

  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Countryside Officer
  • Gamekeeper
  • Veterinary Surgeon
  • Rural Surveyor
  • Animal Technician
  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Kennel Worker
  • Farm Worker
  • Farm Manager
  • Greenkeeper
  • Countryside Ranger
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Meteorologist
  • Geoscientist
  • Animal Care Worker
  • SSPCA Inspector
  • Farrier
  • Pest Control Technician
  • Fish Farm Worker

Find out more from Skills Development Scotland about careers in the Land-based, Aquaculture and Environmental Conservation sector. 

Career and job opportunities in forestry and timber are available in many roles, for example:

  • Tree Nurseries
  • Tree Planting
  • Arboriculture
  • Wildlife
  • Recreation
  • Conservation
  • Mechanical or Manual Harvesting
  • Forestry Management
  • Education and Training
  • Haulage
  • Timber Processing
  • Admin and Clerical

Find out more from CONFOR about careers and jobs in the timber industry.

Land-based Agriculture, Forestry and Timber college courses and apprenticeships in Dumfries and Galloway

SRUC Barony College offer a wide variety forestry-related courses and apprenticeships, for example:

  • Arboriculture Countryside Management
  • Environmental Protection and Management
  • Forest Mechanisation
  • General Woodland and Forestry Tree work
  • Land-based Engineering
  • Organic Farming
  • Rural Skills 
  • Soils and Sustainability

It also offers course in agriculture and animal care, for example:

  • Agricultural Science HND
  • Agriculture BSc and BSc Hons
  • Agriculture HNC, HND and NC
  • Agriculture Poultry SVQ at SCQF Level 5
  • Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare MSc
  • Countryside Management PgDip
  • Gamekeeping and Wildlife Management SVQ at SCQF 5
  • Land-based Engineering Agriculture NC
  • Organic Farming PgDip and MSc
  • Rural Skills NC
  • Soils and Sustainability MSc

Find out more from SRUC Barony College about available courses in Forestry and Agriculture.

DYW DG and the Land-based Agriculture, Forestry and Timber Sector

DYW DG works with leading trainers and providers in the region to address skill gaps and identify future workforce requirements.

Contact us to find out how we can help you with succession planning and getting more young people into your workplace.

Find out more about Sector Forums in Dumfries and Galloway.


As part of our School visit programme, working with DYW DG, we had the pleasure of attending Stranraer Academy. We received a very warm welcome and had a lovely day with the teachers and children. The children were so engaging and excited about the prospect of employment within the rail industry and we found the whole experience to be a humbling one. A huge thank you to DYW DG for organising!

Sandra Cahill, Project Manager, Scot Rail HR

DYW DG has helped Bank of Scotland give young people in Stranraer new avenues in which to explore opportunities locally and in the wider region. Our talk at Stranraer Academy, arranged by DYW, gave students and parents the opportunity to understand the options available in the local area. With DYW's help and support, Bank of Scotland have been able to reach out to the local community and give young people in the area an idea of what retail banking involves.

Craig Daniel, Manager, Bank of Scotland, Stranraer branch

At Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES), we are committed to advancing equality of opportunity. The partnership we have established with DWY DG will allow us to reach out to more young people, including young women. We want to highlight the variety of roles and careers in the industry and encourage young people to consider an apprenticeship with FES as a pathway into a career in forestry, and DYW DG are important and valued partners in this process.

Ashley Woodhouse, Forest Enterprise Scotland

SRUC’s Barony Campus students were given a unique entrepreneur opportunity thanks to DYW DG and Chamber of Commerce partnership working and support for the introduction of the ‘Entrepreneur Aspire’ Award. SRUC looks forward to offering this entrepreneur opportunity next academic year, with a possible option to include other regions within Scotland. It is a pleasure to work with DYW DG, who are so enthusiastic and supportive of our students and their business aspirations for the future.

Julie Parker, Senior Tutor, SRUC Barony Campus

When recruiting our new trainees, DYW DG's input and co-ordination between agencies helped invaluably in guiding us through what assistance was available and the processes therein. We would certainly use DYW’s contacts and again, especially accessing young talent.

Susan Sutherland, Crichton Executive Officer