North Wales forestry student branches out into new career after industry win

A COLEG CAMBRIA student won a prestigious accolade from a forestry organisation.

Dafydd Jones, a student at the college’s Llysfasi site, was named Tilhill Diploma Student of the Year at a virtual prizegiving ceremony.

The 18 year-old, from Tywyn in Meirionnydd, Gwynedd, was lauded by tutors for his dedication and passion for education and his desire for a career in the forest industry.

Dafydd, a former pupil at Ysgol Uwchradd Tywyn, said: “I feel very proud to be named the Tilhill Diploma Student of the Year and was shocked and surprised when I received the news. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my lecturers for all the support and guidance they have given me for the duration of my course.

“This award has given me even more motivation to proceed in the industry of forestry and has made me feel like I’m on the right path.

“I’m so glad I chose Coleg Cambria; I heard it was the best land-based college in Wales and this course really appealed to me because I want to have a practical job in the future which is a little different from the norm.”

He added: “At the moment I work as a tree surgeon and am planning to attend university from September so I can make a difference in the industry as a forester or with my own arboriculture business.

“Thank you again to Cambria and Tilhill for this great honour and also for raising standards in forestry – it has been a fantastic experience.

Andy White, coordinator of the Tilhill Diploma at Llysfasi, said: “Dafydd will carve out a successful career given his positive attitude and outstanding qualities shown during his time on the course.

“He is the most helpful student imaginable often spending his spare time preparing tools and equipment ready for the next practical session. He was always the first to volunteer to complete jobs, or to try a new piece of machinery or demonstrate a new skill.

“He has a very sensible and mature attitude in all things and has been a model student with a natural talent and ease with practical skills, though modest and not boastful about his own abilities.

“His quiet confidence comes from a methodical and organised approach to all his work, both academic and practical, that should serve him well in his future career. He does not strive to be a leader in the group, but the solid backbone of the team that can always be relied upon. Dafydd is fully deserving of this award.”

A specially carved wooden trophy along with £250 prize money was presented to Dafydd by David Edwards, Tilhill’s Forestry Director.

David said: “I am thrilled to present this award to Dafydd. It is an exciting time to be in forestry and Dafydd has the benefit of excelling early on in his pathway to a career in forestry.

“Forestry in the UK is a growing industry, with woodland creation being more important than ever, an increased call for bringing the UK’s forests under management, and a strong timber harvesting demand across many of the mill sectors.”

The Tilhill Diploma was launched in 2018 with the aim of delivering a unique pathway into a career in the forest industry.

The Diploma is designed to train the next generation of managers and operators by way of offering a unique blend of education, industrial experience, and bespoke training. The result is the development of a highly skilled workforce that can start their work experience earlier in their career.

The Tilhill Diploma in Forestry and Woodland Management is a unique qualification, giving students access to the latest cutting-edge technology, equipment, and machinery.

It blends academic and practical skills, so recruits learn from the ground up – including on-the-job knowledge, theory into practice and legislative qualifications with a good depth of industry-related work experience – before moving into the deeper understanding of management, leadership and higher-level technical skills.

For more information on the Tilhill Diploma, visit www.cambria.ac.uk/employers/tilhill

You can watch Dafydd receive his prize here: https://youtu.be/rYihGNZMDn8

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