Graduate Leadership Programme: frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Updated 17th November 2022

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Do I need a specialised forestry, or environmental degree to apply for the Graduate Leadership Programme?

We have a preference for any science, environmental, business, humanities, economics, management or commercial related degrees but we are open to applications from anyone with a passion to get into a commercial role with the relevant transferable skills.

Who are we looking for?

You may have recently graduated from university or want to embark on a new career. We welcome applications from those with the potential to develop into Forestry England’s senior leaders.

Can I apply with a 2:2 or an equivalent Masters qualification?

No. Due to the popularity of the programme we have to be strict in asking for an upper second-class honours degree (2:1) or above. You cannot apply if you only have a Masters qualification nor if you have a 2:2 and a Masters qualification.

Can I apply if I am in my final year of university?

Yes. You can apply in your final year of university if you expect to achieve a 2:1 grade or higher by the time you start the programme.

How many graduates are you taking on?

We are recruiting up to three graduates for entry onto the Forestry England Graduate Leadership Programme in 2023. 

Is support available for relocating to take part in the programme?

For your first move, you will be expected to find accommodation and move your belongings at your own expense. However, if you have particular trouble finding suitable accommodation, which can be the case in more rural and remote areas, we will try to provide local knowledge and support to help source suitable rental accommodation. For subsequent moves required for work, you will be supported by Forestry England.

How difficult is it to get onto the Graduate Leadership Programme?

It’s tough. We usually find we have a lot of interest, from high calibre candidates and in relation to the number of people we are looking for, which means that the competition is very high.

What is the recruitment process? 

Applications for the 2023/24 Graduate Leadership Programme will open on Tuesday 3 January for approximately two weeks. Find out how to apply to the programme.

Can I apply if I don’t have a full UK driving licence?

The duties of this post require the applicant to hold, and continue to hold, a full current driving licence that enables them to drive in the UK (or obtain one before the start of the post). You will be asked to provide your driving licence in order for us to validate that you meet this essential job requirement. However, Forestry England is willing to consider any proposals put forward by applicants that would allow them to do the job by other means.

Is there an age limit for candidates applying for the programme?

No. There is no age limit for candidates applying for our Graduate Leadership Programme as long as you meet the essential requirements.

Is Forestry England an equal opportunities employer?

Yes. We are proudly committed to equality of opportunity. We appreciate the value of diverse woodlands and diverse teams. We want a diverse workforce that reflects the people of Britain.

If I have applied before can I apply again?


Can I apply if I am a Forestry England employee?

Yes, if you are interested in gaining the experiences that the programme will provide then you are welcome to apply. Please be aware that you will be required to vacate your current post to take up one of the Graduate Leadership Programme placements.

When is the programme likely to start?

The successful applicant will be expected to start in summer or early autumn 2023. The exact start date can be negotiated upon recruitment.

Can non-UK citizens apply?

Forestry England is a Civil Service Department therefore all candidates should meet the Cabinet Office's nationality requirements set out on the Civil Service website.

Why does the programme require spending time at different locations?

Spending time in the different parts of the organisation is not only about learning skills and developing forestry knowledge but also experiencing the different organisational cultures and challenges that a widely geographically spread organisation faces.

Do I receive financial help if I need to relocate my home to join the programme?

No. If you have to move to take up your first placement you are expected to do this independently. Thereafter you will receive financial support for expenses relating to your placements.

Do I receive financial help if I need to relocate at the end of the programme?

If a move is required at the end of the programme you will be supported as per our normal transfer expenses policy.

What happens to me after the two-year programme? What are the career prospects like in Forestry England?

Towards the end of the programme we will work with you to find you a suitable post. Ideally you will be looking at jobs at the next level and this could be managing anything from new woodlands, recreation sites, or developing new policies. However there are no guarantees that a suitable job will arise in this timescale therefore we will find you a permanent post at your current pay band.