Over the last four years, forty two young people have been trained for employment opportunities within land based roles through Skills In Action – a Training programme led by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority.
The very successful project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund – Skills for the Future, has provided participants with accredited training, career development support and the opportunity to gain vocational skills working alongside staff in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Torfaen County Borough Council.
The scheme was developed following a report from Lantra which identified an emerging skills shortage in the land based environmental sector including roles ranging from Wardens, Conservation Officers, Stone Wallers, Estate Workers/Contractors to Community Officers.
In both National Parks, several former trainees progressed into employment with the National Park Authorities and others moved onto land based roles in the public, private and voluntary sectors, highlighting the overall success of the project.
Tony Murray from Carmarthenshire was a trainee on the program through which he completed his Level Two Diploma in Environmental Conservation and a variety of practical skill certificates. He is now employed by the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority as a Supervisor for trainees on a partnership project with the Princes Trust Cymru.
Steffan Edwards was one of the first trainees to enrol onto the scheme where he also undertook his Level Two Diploma in Environmental Conservation training and worked alongside National Park Wardens. Steffan now works full time for the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority and is a valued member of the Warden Team.
Gavin Vella participated in the scheme and following the training went on to work as a Seasonal Ranger for Welsh Water at Llandegfedd Reservoir. He has since gained employment working as a wildlife researcher for a television production company.
Commenting on the Skills In Action project, Gavin said;
“The scheme allowed me the time and resources to develop key aspects in practical land management, while also focusing on my desired career choice, which was environmental conservation. The support given from the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park staff was incredible and they really set the bar high with their work ethic. This support continued long after the scheme had ended for me.”
Mel Doel, Chairman of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said;
“This has been one of the most worthwhile and humbling programmes I have been involved with in my eight years at the Park. Having talked with many of our young trainees, I know we have really made a massive difference to their lives. Congratulations to everyone and we look forward to continuing the good work in the future”.
Julian Atkins, CEO of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority added;
“We have successfully led on this project and worked closely with our partners in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and Torfaen County Borough Council. The rural landscape of the National Park is precious and this programme has enabled us to develop the next generation of skilled people to help conserve and enhance it for future generations which is one of our fundamental priorities. We positively identified a skills shortage through the Lantra report and the Skills In Action project has allowed us to train and accredit youngsters who have gone on to find employment in land based roles.”
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