Apprentices tending woodland near Dalkeith were paid a recent visit by the Scottish Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance.
Ms Constance met the young people, who are part of Forestry Commission Scotland’s (FCS) Modern Apprenticeship scheme, at Lord Ancrum’s Wood.
The scheme supports 30 placements within all forest districts throughout Scotland, offering participants broad experience and training in a range of forestry skills.
The Minister also met with staff and partners from nearby Newbattle Abbey College.
She said: “Forestry remains a key industry for rural Scotland and the proper management of wooded areas will aid Scotland’s sustainability, contribute to the economy and ensure forestry continues to be a viable career option.
“I am very pleased to see that Forestry Commission Scotland is setting an example as a public body by investing their time and energy into an apprenticeship scheme that will bring a new generation of skilled and enthusiastic employees into an interesting field of work.
“Record Modern Apprentice targets are just part of the Scottish Government’s efforts to support young people into work. With the most recent figures again showing a significant improvement in the levels of employment and unemployment for young people, it is clear that our action is making a difference.”