LlyG member blog – Shaping the future of training provider Focus on Forestry First

Posted on May 8, 2015 by

As Focus on Forestry First’s funded training programme ends in June 2015, Llais y Goedwig member and Board Director Fay Sharpley reports back from an April FFF Steering Group meeting, where she represented community woodlands in Wales in discussions on FFF’s plans for the future.

If you are interested in taking part in this discussion, please contact Rosie, LlyG Network Coordinator – info@llaisygoedwig.org.uk.

About Focus on Forestry First

Focus on Forestry First was a three year project funded by the Welsh Assembly Government & European Union to identify skills development needs and to deliver training for forestry and related businesses in the trees and timber sector.
Llais y Goedwig members, both groups and individual practitioners, have attended many of their training and seminar sessions.

Through FFF businesses could have training plans drawn up free of charge, access funded training courses (many leading to assessment and certification), and maintain training records through the secure project database.

The project was managed by the Mid Wales & the Marches Accreditation Centre – MWMAC Ltd, a company with a background in providing support and training in this Industry sector.

Creating a steering group to inform FFF’s future

The purpose of the April meeting was to set up a Steering Group representing a wide range of interests of the forestry sector to advise MWMAC on the content and delivery of future projects.

MWMAC will be applying for further WAG/EU funding under the Rural Development Programme. A note that FFF’s past RDP grant was approximately £1million.

The setting up of the Steering Group followed on from recommendations made in an evaluation report by Wavehill for FFF. Organisations at the meeting included Natural Resources Wales, landowners, small contractors, CONFOR, land agents, trainers and Llais y Goedwig, all invited with a view to engaging them in future project planning and overseeing delivery.

Key summary points

A wide variety of topics including funding criteria, farm woodlands, mentoring, timescales and adding value were discussed.

Next steps

  • Llais y Goedwig intends to send a representative to attend next Steering Group meeting – likely to be mid- June when Regional Development Programme (RDP) parameters are better known
  • Map training needs of community woodland groups and identify potential delivery paths
  • Consider how (and why and whether) LlyG might engage with the private sector to mutual advantage
  • Consider where training needs of CWGs overlap with those in the private sector, and where they may differ

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