After serving 4 years in the army with the Black Watch, 20-year-old father of 3 Reece from Cowdenbeath found it difficult to find work. "When I first came out of the army, I was desperate for work but I wasn’t getting any help from anyone. I was in and out of various short term jobs, but then I heard about the scheme at Living Solutions and it’s been great. It has given me a career to focus on rather than just a job".
Reece started with Living Solutions in 2015 on a rural skills academy and it was apparent early on that he was an exceptionally talented young man. Reece completed his training and applied successfully to join us in 2016 as a forestry apprentice going through further training in tree felling and forestry operations.
Development manager Paul Cruise says "Reece had a passion for tree climbing and arboriculture and was reading and learning on his own, he pushed me every day to go further and learn more". He applied successfully to the Princess trust for money to allow him to train and be assessed in Climbing and aerial rescue. The trainer was so impressed he offered Reece the chance to go further with courses in pruning, chainsaw from rope and harness, crowning and again he excelled.
Reece competed in the 90ft pole climb at the royal highland show in 2016 and has an ambition to win it this year.
Reece is now a lead climber for living Solutions green arborist service operating in central Scotland.
Jake started as a forestry apprentice in 2013 completing training, assessments and consolidating his learning. While Jake was with us he showed a lot of interest in forest machines. Jake was trained and assessed in forwarding, skidding and base machine (tracked rigid) and excelled as an operator. Jake was an exceptional operator, the trainer and assessor were impressed with his skills, with Ian from East West training saying “this lad is silky smooth, he is a better operator than me, that doesn’t happen often. “
Jake says “I am now a forestry operative with Kingdom farming and forestry, I mainly operate a chainsaw, felling or pruning but also operate a forwarder. There are many aspects to my job and no two sites are the same. I’m learning every day and I believe that Living Solutions gave me the foundations that I’m building my career on. I got the job when Paul gave my number onto Kingdom farming which led to a permanent position with a good company.