The Landscape Apprenticeships Trailblazer group of employers has received government approval to develop new landscape apprenticeship schemes in England
The 20 employers came together last year, with the support of the Landscape Institute, to develop proposals for employer-led landscape apprenticeships. The proposals were also supported by the Institute of Place Management. The two approved schemes are the landscape assistant scheme, a Level 4 qualification, and the landscape professional scheme – a Level 7 qualification leading to Chartered Membership of the Landscape Institute.
The Trailblazer group will now begin designing the apprenticeship standards to define the competencies required for each apprenticeship. The group plans to consult on the draft standards in May this year, with the aim of having the schemes ready for delivery in early 2019.
Once ready for delivery, the schemes will be open to all employers who are interested in taking on landscape apprentices in England. Larger employers paying the Apprenticeship Levy will be able to use their Levy contributions to fund training costs. Smaller employers will have access to government funding. Initially due to the fact that apprenticeships are a devolved policy area the apprenticeships will only be available in England. The Landscape Institute is wishing to explore apprenticeship opportunities in other devolved nations in the future.
Poppy Smith, head of external affairs at the Landscape Institute, welcomed the government’s approval of the proposals.
‘We have had great support in developing this initiative from our board of trustees, advisory council and members, all of whom agree that apprenticeships can help us to develop new skills and talent for the profession and increase the diversity of new entrants,’ she said. ‘This is really exciting opportunity and we look forward to supporting the Trailblazer Group in their ongoing work to prepare these apprenticeships for delivery’.
Colin Pill of lead employer Tyler Grange LLP chairs the Trailblazer group. He said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to combine work experience with off-the-job training and give employers the opportunity to bring new talent into their business. We now have a lot of work to do now in making sure the apprenticeship standards reflect the requirements of employers across the landscape profession. We look forward to the challenge and the opportunity ahead.”
The next stage is for us to launch a consultation with the wider profession and education providers, including our accredited courses, on the exact form the standards should take. The consultation will run during May and June, and we hope to have apprenticeships in place ready for delivery in early 2019!