The arboriculture and horticulture industry is young and evolving. Young people lack stable jobs and training opportunities in the industry. The Trainee Programme enables arboriculture and tree management graduates to receive on-the-job training to acquire working experience, paving the way for qualified arborists, tree risk assessors, tree work supervisors, tree climbers and tree climber cum chainsaw operators in the future.

The Trainee Programme is applicable to graduates of arboriculture, tree management and tree work programmes at Level 3 to Level 5 of the Qualifications Framework offered by local vocational, tertiary and training institutions. The programme will provide a training allowance of about 30 per cent of agreed monthly remuneration levels to the trainees through their employers, as well as a bonus of $34,000 and $24,000 at maximum upon their acquisition of recognised arborist / tree risk assessor / tree work supervisor and tree climber / tree climber cum chainsaw operator professional qualifications respectively. The training periods for arborist trainees / tree risk assessor trainees / tree work supervisor trainees are three years. For tree climber trainees, the training period is 18 months, while for tree climber cum chainsaw operators, it is 24 months.

Eligible employers are invited to participate in the Trainee Programme to take in arborist, tree risk assessor, tree work supervisor, tree climber and tree climber cum chainsaw operator trainees at agreed or higher remuneration levels (including the training allowances provided under the programme). They are also required to provide structured training that meets stipulated requirements. Government tree management departments will also join the programme, working hand in hand with the industry to train arborists, tree risk assessors, tree work supervisors, tree climbers and tree climber cum chainsaw operators.

The Government has commissioned the Construction Industry Council (CIC) to administer the Trainee Programme. The programme accepts applications from employers throughout the year. The relevant application form and training framework document can be downloaded from the website of the CIC (