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.
Almost 11% 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.
Colm Lyons works as a Forest Technician with Coillte. He is responsible for the effective delivery of the Business Area Unit forest maintenance, tending and establishment of operational programmes efficiently within budget as well as schedule and quality standards.
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
How did you go about getting your current job?
Describe a typical day?
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
Responsible for the effective delivery of the Business Area Unit forest maintenance, tending and establishment operational programmes efficiently within budget, schedule and quality standards. This includes restock, private contracts & farm/business partnerships. Validate tactical plans and provide key inputs to ensure annual work-planning and budgets are fully aligned with the Business Area Unit strategic business and operating plans. Primary responsibility for the management of operational staff and resources to ensure optimum operational cost efficiency and quality in the achievement of the Business Area Unit operational and business objectives.
This includes work recording, pay/invoice processing and control of stock and material usage. Manage and control the establishment, tending and operational programme to agreed schedule within standard / average costs models and to Company / Forest Service quality standards. Implement total quality assurance and reconciliation procedures including the monitoring, tracking, recording and enforcement of remedial works. Responsible for ensuring the accurate and efficient completion of planting and free growing returns as defined in the inventory code of practice.
Develop and implement security plans and controls within the Business Area Unit to ensure access is managed and the security and integrity of Coillte property and the forest estate is protected. Plan, monitor and implement measures to ensure forest health is maintained. Ensure full compliance with all environmental, Forest Stewardship Council, Health & Safety policies, standards and governance requirements. Effectively represent and promote the Coillte brand locally.
Develop strong and effective relationships with our customers and stakeholders (local/ operation specific) to ensure our business objectives and goals are supported and realised.
What are the main challenges?
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
English, Irish, Maths, German, Construction Studies, Geography & Biology. Construction studies were always my favourite, I loved working with timber and still do with my uncle today. I always loved the outdoors and being in the woods. Biology was always of interest to me the way in which living things are made up.
What is your education to date?
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
I think the most important time was during my degree in Waterford IT, it was a very comprehensive and demanding degree. It has proven to be very beneficial in my current and past forestry roles. Every part of forestry, practical and academic, was covered. It prepared me for a challenging work environment.
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
I think the most rewarding event in my career so far, is in my current role managing the planting of over 600ha and the cultivation of another 350ha while adhering to budgets, standards and guidelines. Multi-tasking is one of my strong areas completing a large establishment program, managing forest parks and Coillte estate management solving operational problems on a daily basis. I have adapted to an ever-changing work environment taking responsibility for a cost centre in October 2016.
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?
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?
What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?