Graduate programme frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Updated 21st December 2023

If your question is not answered below please email:

Do I need a degree in forestry or other specialism to apply for the Graduate Leadership Programme?

We welcome applications from all degree disciplines. If you meet the minimum requirements, the most crucial factor is your enthusiasm for working at Forestry England, and your desire to start a career where you can get involved, work together, and be adventurous.

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

Unfortunately, due to the popularity of the programme, we have to be strict on asking for an upper second-class honours’ degree (2:1) or above, even if you have subsequently achieved a masters qualification.

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

Both years of the programme involve travel to sites (forests, visitor centres and other offices), many of which are in rural locations and not served by public transport. We therefore require you to hold a full current driving licence that allows you to drive in the UK. If you are currently learning to drive, you will have needed to pass your test before the assessment centre in March 2024.

Can I apply if I am not a British national, or if I do not have the right to work in the UK?

Forestry England is a Civil Service Department, and we require all candidates to meet the Cabinet Office's nationality requirements set out on the Civil Service website.

Unfortunately, we are not able to sponsor applicants that do not meet the Cabinet Office requirements.

What is the application process and key dates?

Details of the application process and interview dates can be found here.

When would I start the programme?

The successful candidates will start the programme in August or September 2024, but we are flexible on exact start dates.

Do I need to relocate, can I work remotely?

Whilst we offer flexible working to accommodate your work and life balance, you will be expected to regularly visit your local office, forests and other sites within the Forest District. You therefore need to live within a commutable distance.

Can I choose which Forest District I will work in?

If you have a preference for a particular Forest District, we will try to accommodate this.

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

When you start on the programme, if you need to move you will be expected to find accommodation at a suitable distance from the district office. Unfortunately, we cannot help with the cost of relocating, but the graduate network will be able to provide advice on suitable locations.

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

There is no age limit for candidates, and we welcome applications from people who are looking to change careers providing you meet the essential requirements.

Can I apply if I am a Forestry England employee?

We welcome applications from existing Forestry England employees providing you meet the essential requirements.

What happens to me after the two-year programme?

After the graduate programme you will find a suitable post in an area that interests you. You will have support from your line manager and the graduate network to learn about available opportunities and with your applications. Previous graduates have been successful in positions such as Planning and Environment Manager, Business Improvement Operations Manager, Head of Woodland Creation, and Head of Land Management in the South District.

If you have a question that we have not answered above, please contact