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LewisPH

Pathway for a beginner, what makes someone more employable?

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Hi all, my first post here!

 

I recently decided to explore the world of Arboriculture and after doing a large amount of research and spending a day with a local Arborist, I quickly realised that this is an avenue I want to follow.

 

I'm 23, and at present I have a good understanding of the job, but little experience, no equipment and no qualifications. I am eager to change this as quickly as possible.

 

I work an unrelated retail job, 3 days a week. I'm in a fairly fortunate position, in that I am able to reasonably support myself on this (Although I don't have a disposable income), leaving myself time to work any opportune groundwork/labour jobs that may come my way. Should Arboriculture become a solid job for me, I'd happily leave my current job to make it a living.

 

I'm fairly well read on what qualifications and skills are required to make myself attractive to a prospective employer, but my question is primarily pertinent to the progression one should follow in order to achieve this as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

 

I understand that there are employers who will take on trainees/apprentices and partially/entirely fund their tickets, but they still seem to expect candidates to be qualified in CS30/31 and Climbing/Aerial Rescue. This immediately requires me to drop something in the area of £1500-2500 on PPE, climbing gear and training before I'm at a stage where I am even a viable candidate. That's a lot of hours to make up!

 

Don't get me wrong - I'm not opposed to an initial outlay if it is a sensible and worthwhile one. My question is whether I'd be throwing money up the wall, and if you would do things differently.

 

I'm also aware that I can work as a cheap labourer while I build up my funds and equipment, which I fully intend to do. However I want to make myself as employable as possible, because I know that a brash dragger is only worth so much when there are more qualified groundworkers available.

 

I apologise for rambling, and I'll attempt to summarise.

 

How would you spend your early time and money, in order to make yourself an attractive candidate to a prospective employer?

 

Cheers guys!

Lewis.

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The PPE is a given, then you need to be able to operate a saw, rescue can come later, the ability to tow a trailer (bigger than a wheelbarrow) would be a distinct advantage.

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LewisPH

From an untrained/self-taught but "handy" farmers son, who only "cuts sticks".

You come across as a clear thinking good communicator, but how well coordinated are you physically?

I presume you would not be considerating this career path unless you figger yourself to be dexterous enough.

But, trust me, some can and some ABSOLUTLY cant, with the majority in the middle.

Swing an axe, handle a saw, intutively "know" how and where, and when to cut, understand tension and compression etc.

I have observed some of the most akward, ineffective, and actually hard to watch types, who cannot understand how inefficiently they are working.

It is only those "who can" that will make a reasonable or good living.

Training is not a substitute for natural or innate ability.

It can only complement what is already there.

But at least you are approaching the subject in a clear headed objective manner.

I would suggest getting some experience, watching and listening and questioning, learning the "whys", then after some "off the record practise", put yourself up for honest assessment by an experienced arbo type or trainer.

Also stick at this type of work experience through the average British winter, before committing.

regards

Marcus

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Cheers for the replies so far gents.

 

I think PPE would be my first purchase anyway, as it's the kind of thing that will come with me in any job whatsoever so it'd be a sensible place to start.

 

Difflock - I'm pretty handy already I'd say, obviously not by your standards but I know the physics behind a lot of the work - When a branch is going to pinch, where the leverage comes from, whether to cut from the top or bottom and what way it's likely to fall, so on. Our house backs into a forest so I've had some experience dealing with storm damaged trees and some pruning, so I'm not walking into the job completely blind.

 

Would it be sensible to obtain a basic climbing rig (Harness, rope, prusik loop, flipline and some crabs) to learn to climb recreationally? This way I could get myself comfortable with moving around in a tree before looking at getting tickets. I can imagine that a newly qualified climber isn't worth a penny until they can operate quickly and safely in a tree?

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Cheers for the replies so far gents.

 

I think PPE would be my first purchase anyway, as it's the kind of thing that will come with me in any job whatsoever so it'd be a sensible place to start.

 

Difflock - I'm pretty handy already I'd say, obviously not by your standards but I know the physics behind a lot of the work - When a branch is going to pinch, where the leverage comes from, whether to cut from the top or bottom and what way it's likely to fall, so on. Our house backs into a forest so I've had some experience dealing with storm damaged trees and some pruning, so I'm not walking into the job completely blind.

 

Would it be sensible to obtain a basic climbing rig (Harness, rope, prusik loop, flipline and some crabs) to learn to climb recreationally? This way I could get myself comfortable with moving around in a tree before looking at getting tickets. I can imagine that a newly qualified climber isn't worth a penny until they can operate quickly and safely in a tree?

 

Keep your eyes open for recreational or 'reccy' climbs on here in your area. The people on here are a friendly bunch and you will probably be offered the chance to have a go for yourself without spending out on your own kit before you know if climbing is for you. :001_smile:

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Hey!

You well might be "handy" beyond:biggrin: my particular standards.

I did not intend to cause offence but at 54 after 20 years of seeing the results of people who swear they know all about maintaining and using chainsaws borrowing the one from work and bring it back absolutly blunt, chain hanging off the bar, bar and chain burned blue, etc etc, etc etc, etc etc.

Plus we have had a number of guys at work put through the cross-cutting course.

Who are still ABSOLUTLY unable to sharpen a chain.

Taking it 5 miles out the road to be sharpened.

One in particular used to insist in cutting the road surface with the tip of the bar when trimming butts, that were WELL clear of the surface.

Seriously.

Again I remain baffled by the seasoned woodcutters that I see bring saws to the local Stihl shop to get chains sharpened.

Seriously!

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Reading your well written post why not consider a more 'helicopter view'?

You can acquire the basic skills by working for a company I agree but if you can communicate effectively, write concisely and accurately, what is stopping you from managing a team of cutters/operators? Take your time thinking.

 

I like felixthelogchopper's post in the recreational climb and difflock's Winter warning too and I smile, remembering one of the climbers that I worked with who was brilliant, agile, accurate and above all SAFE up in a tree BUT was absolutely hopeless with a saw on the ground. Horses for courses is a very accurate phrase here.

Me, I was crap at saw work but put me on a machine.......:biggrin:

codlasher

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No offence taken Difflock! I can appreciate that there are some people who just don't have the aptitude for it - Hopefully I'm not one of them!

 

I like the idea of a rec climb with some skilled professionals - Sounds safer than jumping up a tree in my back garden! Is there a particular place where these get planned? I've added my location to my user profile.

 

The idea of overseeing projects is a nice one, but I feel that it's something a way off in the future. I don't feel that I could command respect from a team of workers without being able to jump up there and do the job myself - Lead from the front and all that!

 

Thanks for all the answers so far, the arb community seems like a good one to be a part of!

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