Towards the end of last year, the government announced plans to offer the opportunity for any adult, aged 19 and over, to achieve their first full level 3 qualification, which is equivalent to an advanced technical certificate, diploma, or A levels, through the National Skills Fund, as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee. The main aim behind the funding scheme is to help,
- gain qualifications that are needed and valued by employers
- improve job prospects
- progress in work
- earn a good wage
The scheme was officially launched in April and presents an opportunity for landscape and horticulture companies to allow their employees (or themselves) to gain a level 3 qualification, and potentially fill any skills gaps you may have.
So, how does it work?
To be eligible to access the free training, candidates must be over 24 (19 to 23 year olds will continue to be eligible for their first full level 3 via the adult education budget,) and not have already done a level 3 qualification previously.
What’s qualifications are on offer?
The great news is that there are several courses on the list which relate to our industry, under landscaping and horticulture, as well as environmental conservation, forestry, building and construction, business management, and digital.
The one we are most excited to see is the Gateway Qualifications Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in Landscape Construction.
This was the landscaping course we supported BALI members, Capel Manor college in creating, and was based on a previous skills survey that BALI conducted with its members.
Capel Manor college are offering it as a part time certificate, one day a week over a year.
Reaseheath college are also offering the course as a part time option.
The other courses that may be of interest are:
City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Horticulture
City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Horticulture
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Horticulture
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/Certificate in Horticulture
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Horticulture
There are also a number of generic Team leader, leadership and management qualifications that come under the funding as well.
So have a look at your local training provider and see what they have to offer and get in touch.
Things to consider
While the courses are free, you need to be able to manage time commitments, in either allowing employees time to attend the courses and any potential assignment or project work they need to do to successfully pass the course. Make sure you check to see how the courses are run, are they full time or part time? Also, do they offer remote learning or flexible hours? Look at the course content and to see if it covers the areas you want to upskill in. So, make sure you do your research to understand how the course you are interested in works.