Forester in Training programme (FIT)​

We need a pool of qualified foresters to sustain the forestry industry. That's why we created our Forester in Training programme (FIT), to help talented individuals get practical experience while training for a recognised qualification.

About the programme

The FIT programme serves as an extension to the qualifications received from a tertiary institution. It begins when Sappi allocates bursaries to students finishing their first year of study towards a suitable qualification, for example, a National Diploma in Forestry. The bursary will cover the next two to three years of study, depending on the qualification.

Once agreed, bursary recipients split their second year of study between practical learning on our plantations (nine months) and class based learning at their tertiary institution (three months).

During the practical period, you will be assigned to the plantation deemed most appropriate for your needs and provided with accommodation. Onsite mentors are on hand to give you the training and support you need, when you need it. As part of the programme, you will be required to complete a log book detailing the variety of development activities you undertake.

Upon completion of the initial practical period, we may also sponsor subsequent years towards your completion of the diploma.

The forestry sector in South Africa is a substantial employer, both in its growing and processing components. In its growing component the forestry sector employs approximately 165,900 workers and provides a livelihood to 652,000 people living in rural areas.
Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of Technology
Got a question about applying to one of our development programmes? Check our frequently asked questions section to see if it's already been answered.

After the diploma

Once you've completed your studies, you will again be placed at one of our plantations. This is where you will begin your one year within the FIT programme, following a FIT log book. This is to ensure you are provided with a structured learning process that helps to maximise your personal development.

On completion of the programme, and dependent on the business needs at the time, the experience you will have gained will put you in a great position for recruitment. This will follow the normal recruitment and selection process.

Our Engineer in Training (EIT) programme ensures the next generation of talent is fully equipped with the knowledge they need.
We offer a variety of technical programmes to choose from. Discover the options available to you and what the courses involve.
Learnerships are structured learning programmes that allow you to get the best of both worlds by combining both theoretical and practical elements.

Meet just some of the many trainees who have benefited from Sappi's development programmes, from engineering to forestry.

If you're a talented student or undergraduate studying in a relevant field, you could be eligible for support from our bursary scheme.