About the Scheme
What is the Scheme All About?
It is a scheme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund from 2014 to 2017 to provide people of any age or background, from anywhere in the world the opportunity to gain paid full time, real world experience for a full year (or 18 months in the case of Survey and Monitoring Trainees) at four Wildlife Trusts in the South West.
Why was it Funded?
Why is this necessary? Well, within such a competitive and popular sector, recruiters were increasingly finding they were being heavily oversubscribed with applications, but only a small proportion of these applicants actually held the necessary skills needed to fulfil the role.
This scheme aims to solve the skill gap by providing relevant and specific training to us trainees free of cost! Particularly useful when something like the Chainsaw and Brushcutting course which all Pracitcal Conservation Trainees will undertake, can cost several hundreds of pounds - a huge financial strain for anyone wishing to get into the industry and who may not be working full time. All of this free training and experience will (hopefully!) lead us to secure permanent employment within the conservation sector, after the year has ended, and for the foreseeable future.
The scheme is running across four Wildlife Trusts - Dorset, Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire, with each Trust taking on four trainees a year for three years. The details and numbers of trainees per role vary slightly, but there are broadly three different roles:
Volunteer and Community Engagement
Working with schools, families, community groups and volunteers by assisting teaching and project managing events. Whilst also learning to recruit and manage volunteers, and use both online and print platforms to promote events.
Maintaining reserves, developing and implementing site management plans and working with volunteers and the public.
Survey and Monitoring
An 18 month placement to ensure a full summer season of experiences. Working with volunteers to record and identify species and habitats to input onto databases, produce reports and present the findings.
In Somerset Wildlife Trust there are two Practical Conservation Trainees which this year are Adam and Phil, one Community and Volunteer Engagement Trainee, Freya and our Legacy Trainee, Becky;
This website has logged the trainees journey from the first cohort in 2014, and will continue to follow the project through its coming years and future trainees.
We’ll be continuing to post articles to this website with regular round ups about what we’ve seen, learnt and done during the scheme.
So keep your eyes peeled here on the website, as well as Facebook and Twitter.