Weißenhorn: Forestry company: More nature is not possible

Weißenhorn: Forestry company: More nature is not possible

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Why the Weißenhorn forestry company is training young talent again for the first time in 16 years. Women are now also picking up the saw.

The shortage of skilled workers has now also reached the forestry: There is a lack of women and men who can not only handle the saw, but also ensure that the forest remains healthy, can cope with climatic changes and supplies enough renewable raw materials. That’s why the forestry company leaves Weissenhorn He is reviving a tradition that has been dormant for a long time; he is training men and women to become foresters from September onwards.

Training is an important step for the forestry company

It used to be a given that the then so-called forestry offices would raise their own offspring. But in Weißenhorn this tradition was broken 16 years ago: “We just let it go because we didn’t need anyone. We lived off the substance,” explains Michael Eggert, head of the Weißenhorn forestry operation of the Bavarian State Forests. But now it has become difficult to find new people to work in the woods, because the competition is great and the number of job opportunities is extremely diverse. Eggert: “The fact that we are resuming training is an important step for us. The skilled workers don’t just come to you.”

There were always people in Weißenhorn who were interested in becoming a forester, but the Bavarian State Forestry branch couldn’t offer them anything, at most internships. Trainees were only taken on in Zusmarshausen and Ottobeuren. That will change from September. So that young people can find a relatively central training facility in the region, a hall in Ichenhausen was converted into a training center, which is easy to reach, as Eggert promises. From this base, the training master will then go to the surrounding state forests in the future, where almost everything that foresters need to be able to do can be learned. Anyone who wants to take up the profession should definitely want to work outside in the fresh air “and be reasonably fit.” It is actually hardly possible to be more close to nature.

The forestry company trains real forest experts

It’s not just about making wood. In the spring you have to locate and remove trees damaged by the winter before the bark beetles spread, March and April is the planting season, in the summer the young population is thinned out and in the autumn there are preparations for hunting. “There is a lot of important work to be done,” says Eggert. The 20 foresters and three forestry masters at the Weißenhorn location are keeping busy. In the future, the forestry company wants to take on three to four young people per year and turn them into real forest experts. The first interested parties have already concluded contracts.

Women now also use saws in the forest

The profession is not only open to men, as it once was. “It’s no longer a male domain for a long time,” asserts Christoph Kohler, deputy head of the Weissenhorn forestry operation. “We have hired two female foresters who do the same things as the men.” In the past, women were more specialized in planting, but now “you can also find them with the saw. Things are changing.” He admits that the percentage of women in this profession is still quite low.

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Eggert and Kohler are betting that a trend that began during the corona pandemic will continue: people are again more interested in what is happening on their doorstep. This recollection is not just virtual, because many people want something authentic again: “They need more real things, and that’s what the profession of forestry offers.” In addition, the takeover prospects are “great”.

By the way: The training of the “new ones” is carried out by the man who was the last trainee in Weißenhorn to be trained as a forester. So a circle closes, so to speak.



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