Three organisations currently provide forestry education and skills training courses in Ireland. These courses are full time, and are aimed at preparing students for a career in the forestry sector.
11.5% of Ireland is under forest, supporting a vibrant and export-oriented forest products sector. The forest industry comprising, growing, harvesting and processing of forest products makes a significant and growing contribution to the Irish economy.
You have options available in Ireland to study forestry at all levels, for one to four years. Start by reading the information provided on the courses in Teagasc, UCD and WIT.
Kevin Power works as a Resource Manager for Coillte. Kevin returned to education in his mid twenties to study Forestry at WIT.
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
Without a doubt, the biggest 'career decision' milestone in my life was when I returned to education in my mid-twenties to study forestry at Waterford Institute of Technology. When that decision was made I set myself on a path to a vital qualification that in turn gave me the confidence to go on and attain higher qualifications such as an MBA. When I finished college the next 'career decision' milestone was finding work in the industry and getting the experience I needed to get me into Coillte which had been my goal since I first enrolled in forestry at WIT.
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
How did you go about getting your current job?
Describe a typical day?
During my typical workday, I am responsible for ensuring that the harvesting and engineering teams have all the information, documents and maps etc. that they need to carry out their roles effectively. I help them with any issues they may be having such as issues with people, the environment, archaeology or material assets. I keep in touch with the BAU leader and update him on our progress as we move along.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
My current responsibilities include planning and presenting for sale the optimum annual timber supply available in the BAU in compliance with best silvicultural practices while meeting the requirements of Forest Certification. Contribute to the leadership of the BAU Achieve BAU timber supply and saw-log targets Coordinate the BAU timber allocations process Assist in the application process for general felling licences Prepare site activity packs for operations Manage field verification contractors Represent the BAU6 resource team as task leader at monthly meetings
What are the main challenges?
As a Coillte employee, I can experience all aspects of forestry and I am not just restricted to one particular aspect. New forest management systems are currently being introduced within Coillte and it is great to be part of this exciting transformation. There are brilliant opportunities within Coillte at the moment.
What's not so cool?
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
I would describe myself as someone who is capable of leading a team with strong organisational skills, I am innovative and passionate about what I do. I have over 15 years’ experience working across a variety of roles within and outside of Coillte. Key areas in which I worked were Estates management where I resolved long outstanding stakeholder issues and Operations management where I successfully dealt with long-standing legacy sites and developed the Access Routes App. I am currently a Resource manager and manage the timber resource for half of BAU6.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
I took the regular subjects in school and I had a great interest in Geography and especially in Geology. But I cannot say that any of these subjects influenced my career path. However, after leaving school I worked for various forest harvesting contractors in my locality. It was from them that I developed a love of forestry and for the people who work in forestry. I would advise anybody to get some work experience in an area they hope to pursue in college.
What is your education to date?
Certificate in Managing Business Projects (Waterford Institute of Technology) Masters in Business Administration (Waterford Institute of Technology) Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Forestry) (University College Dublin) National Diploma in Science in Forestry (now Bachelor of Science in Forestry, WIT)
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
During my time studying forestry at WIT I was introduced to forest mensuration, forest engineering and forest management systems all of which laid the foundations for me to do my current job. But one of the most longstanding lessons I learned from my time there was the importance of meeting “deadlines”.
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
I came up with the idea for the access routes app which is a mobile app that helps Coillte employees, graduates and emergency services amongst others to get around the Coillte estate easily and more efficiently. Achieving my MBA while working full-time. I successfully dealt with long-standing legacy sites which had proved very difficult to establish. It was very rewarding seeing each one over the line.
What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
What is your dream job?
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
I find my current job very enjoyable; I work from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. My job is mostly office based and it is not physical. Not only does this mean that I have time to spend with my wife and three children at evenings and at weekends but it also means that I have the energy to make that time a quality time. While my salary is far from huge it allows us to keep on top of our bills and it allows my wife to be a stay at home mum which works very well for us all.
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
Ongoing training is par for the course within Coillte and I am also currently being coached by my line manager as are many of my colleagues within the BAU. I also hope to take part in a short course on leadership externally over the coming year; this is to purely satisfy my own interest in this subject.
What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?