Sector skills council, Lantra Scotland, is calling on environmental conservation groups and land and estate managers to share their views on a new Modern Apprenticeship for Scotland’s rural environment.
As part of a six-week consultation process, Lantra will look at the content and framework of the proposed Modern Apprenticeship, which is set to include Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in environmental conservation, estate maintenance and estate management.
Jo-Anne Bryan, Lantra’s Standards and Qualifications Manager said: “Now that work has taken place on the SVQs, we can move on to look at the Modern Apprenticeship itself. Over the next six weeks, we intend to gather views on the draft structure and content of the qualification from people across Scotland who either work or have an interest in the environment sector.
The Modern Apprenticeship could potentially include specialist routes, or pathways in environmental conservation, estate management and maintenance and in dry stone walling.
It will provide those working in the conservation of landscapes, habitats and species, in public access and recreation and in the maintenance and management of Scottish estates with a flexible route for learning and applying skills in the workplace.
Lantra recently co-ordinated a review of the environmental conservation SVQs at levels 2 and 3 to make sure they were “fit for purpose” and met the needs of Scotland’s conservation-related organisations.
The new SVQs in estate maintenance at level 2 and estate management at level 3 have been developed by Scottish Land and Estates, with support from the Scottish Government and other partners.
A Modern Apprentice is an employee who is paid a wage and learns from the skills and experience of people around them whilst gaining skills and working towards a nationally recognised Scottish Vocational Qualification.
Employers, employees and training providers work together in partnership, with Modern Apprenticeships typically taking from one to three years to complete. Training takes place through colleges and private providers and helps employees get a wider understanding of their job.
Although the proposed Modern Apprenticeship will focus on environmental conservation and estate skills, its final name will not be chosen until after the consultation period.
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: "We would encourage estates, land managers — and anyone with a desire to see rural Scotland flourish — to respond to the Lantra consultation. Building skills for our rural economy is vitally important and a new Modern Apprenticeship for the rural environment could prove to be a significant step forward in building our skills base in this sector.
“Scottish Land & Estates has been at the forefront of developing SVQs in estate maintenance and management for modern integrated estates and those in rural areas who want to undergo training and skills development.”
"We look forward to working with Lantra, the Scottish Government, Imbewu Scotland, Rural Skills Scotland, Historic Scotland and others to inspire young people to pursue rural careers and to ensure that we deliver career progression for those involved in the sector."
Alison MacDonald, HR Business Partner and lead for SNH Youth Employment Initiative, said:
“We take pride in the professionalism and dedication of our staff in providing a high quality service to the Scottish people.
“Young people particularly play an important role in that and we are committed to supporting their development under the Scottish Government’s youth employment initiative. One way is through our Modern Apprenticeship scheme, and we now have five young members of staff who have completed their training. Alongside this, we have a range of opportunities designed to help young people attain rewarding employment.
“We are therefore delighted to support the development of the Modern Apprenticeship for Scotland’s rural environment and are actively seeking to implement it from launch.”
To take part in the online consultation process, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/lantra_rural_skills - open until 4th September.
Lantra in Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government.