BSW honoured for skills development

24 January 2018

Confor member BSW Timber Group has been named as Skills Development Scotland’s Youth Employer of the Month - and had its success highlighted at Holyrood.

The company, a finalist in this year’ Scottish Apprenticeship Awards, sees apprentices as a core part of its succession planning. BSW’s Group Learning and Development Manager Tony Lockey said: “Receiving this award is a great end to what has been a fantastic year for us. It is real recognition for the work of all of our teams.”

He said BSW’s 30 apprentices, including Scotland’s first female saw doctor, bring an eagerness and motivation to its workplaces while gaining skills and learning from colleagues. “We are also offering good jobs in rural areas, which sometimes can be challenging to find and it is a good way of putting something back into local communities,” said Mr Lockey.

BSW's success was recognised by South of Scotland MSP Emma Harper in a Scottish Parliament motion. 

The motion notes BSW's "commitment to growing its own talent, its investment in its people and its offering opportunities to progress" and "celebrates the significant contribution and impact that the business makes to the area's rural economy and the community; recognises the hard work of all of its staff, and wishes them well."

BSW was nominated for the Youth Employer of the Month Award by Vicki Maclean of Skills Development Scotland. She said: “This company is committed to growing their own talent, it wants to invest in its people and offer opportunities to progress to everyone who wants them and building a talent pool for the future. It also has tremendous links with schools and the Developing the Young Workforce groups in all its locations across Scotland.”

BSW has sawmills in the Highlands (Fort William and Boat of Garten), two in southern Scotland (Dalbeattie and Petersmuir in East Lothian) and its head office is in Earlston in the Scottish Borders. It also has mills in Carlisle and Southampton in England and Newbridge, Wales, as well as one in Latvia. It is the parent company of Tilhill Forestry, one of the UK’s largest forestry management business. 

Stuart Goodall, Confor Chief Executive, said: “I’m delighted for BSW - and especially the recognition of its determination to grow its own talent and bring a new, highly-skilled generation through into the forestry and wood-processing industry. It is also great to see the significant role of forestry in providing good jobs in rural communities being recognised.

"I’m also really pleased that this achievement has been recognised at Holyrood; it is great to see positive news about our industry being highlighted in the corridors of power.”