The Insitute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) has given the industry approval to start development on four new apprenticeships; Arboriculturist, Horticulture Technical Manager, Professional Arboriculturist and Professional Forester.
These apprenticeships will be suitable for a wide range of roles including tree officers, arboricultural consultants, head gardeners, forest managers, greenspace/horticulture and landscape managers. This is an exciting development for the arboriculture, forestry and horticulture industries; helping employers develop people into these roles and providing a stepping stone into more senior positions while working on the job.
Apprenticeships in England are approved and regulated by the Insitute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) with groups of employers or ‘trailblazers’ developing the content. Once completed, these apprenticeships will attract Government/apprenticeship levy funding and be delivered by training providers to their local employers.
The Arboriculture, Forestry, Horticulture and Landscape Trailblazer group (AFHLT) have been developing apprenticeships for their sectors since 2014 and have successfully completed standards for Arborist, Forest Operative, Horticulture / Landscape Operative and Landscape / Horticulture Supervisor. There have been in the region of 1,500 starts on this suite of apprenticeships since their approval.
The new Arboriculturist (Level 4) apprenticeship will include: – assessing tree health and risk, managing contractors, handling complaints, applying the law in relation to tree work and making/assessing planning applications. The Horticulture Technical Manager (Level 5) will: – develop and manage parks, gardens, greenspaces and grounds (e.g. business parks, schools, retail sites etc), manage horticultural spaces, engage with clients, customers and visitors, including undertaking financial management and income generation. Both of these proposals were approved by the IFATE in December 2019.
Proposals for arboricultural and forestry apprenticeship roles at degree level were resubmitted in mid-February 2020, following feedback from the IFATE’s response to the original proposals in December 2019. The IFATE requested that the group explored combining the two professions into a core apprenticeship with options or provide sufficient detail to warrant different pathways. Following a lot of hard work by the AFHLT group and supported by the relevant sub-groups the original proposals were redrafted; a separate business case was created to highlight the differences between the professions; and additional Higher Educational Institution (HEI) evidence was compiled to enhance the redrafted proposals.
The IFATE have now approved separate degree-level apprenticeships in forestry and arboriculture for development. This is a great example of how sub-group members can contribute to change and enable the creation of such vital future opportunities for both professions. The chairs are extremely grateful to all involved.
The AFHLT recognises that these are challenging times for all employers and employees and our professions as whole. We understand that there has been a need to drastically re-evaluate what each and every one of us does on a daily basis across our work and personal lives. Even with the changes and sacrifices that we are all having to make at the moment, we hope that this good news will help to enhance opportunities for our industries moving forward in the future and aid us on as we look to recover.
The horticulture, landscape, forestry and arboriculture industries have worked tirelessly on these apprenticeship proposals and the ‘green light’ to start development is a huge achievement. It is likely that the development will take at least a year and employers who want to shape the future skills of the workforce should register their interest by signing up here.