Apprentices Given Invaluable Experience

Posted: 30.08.13

Charles Bailie has started his new role as a countryside officer in Cheshire, and will soon start his Masters in Conservation Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University, thanks to the experience he gained through the apprenticeship with his host organisation, Oldham Council, and sponsor, Pennine Prospects.

“It was a bit of a risk taking the apprenticeship,” admitted Charles, who took a drop in salary to enter the scheme from his former employment in business. “Getting this job and being able to start the masters degree has justified my decision.

“The practical land management experience I have gained has been invaluable, especially having my own site at Moorgate Quarry to look after. It’s worked out really well and professionally I couldn’t have asked for more.

“Every day was different and it was a great opportunity to learn; the educational courses, opportunities to gain skills in management and planning all helped build up my knowledge,” added Charles, who also praised the Watershed Landscape project team for their support and enthusiasm.

Charles has been on one of four apprenticeships administered by rural regeneration company Pennine Prospects as part of the Watershed Landscape project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Katie Quantrell is a trainee ranger through host organisation the National Trust at the Marsden Moor Estate. She is due to finish her apprenticeship in September and is now applying for permanent roles in the sector.

During her time in Marsden Katie has gained experience in so many skills it’s difficult to name them all. Among the practical elements of the apprenticeship she’s had training in chainsaw cross-cutting techniques, dry stone walling, vegetation identification, small mammal surveying, and her in-house training has also included fencing and path improvements. And similar to Charles all this training and experience has gone towards her Level Two Diploma in work-based Environmental Conservation.

“I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done here,” said Katie. “But it’s working with all the different volunteer groups that I’ve enjoyed the most. Being able to learn from them and pass on some of my own experience has been really great. The role has definitely helped me to build my confidence in working with volunteer groups especially in relation to leading on practical tasks across the estate.”

“It’s such a lovely place to work and the small team here has been so supportive. These apprenticeships have given all four of us such valuable experience, and will hopefully ensure all of us have successful careers in the future,” Katie added.

Jennie Lancashire and Alyssa Young, the first apprentices under the Watershed Landscape project, both gained employment in their chosen fields.

Yorkshire Water United Utilities Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council National Farmers Union
South Pennines Association Lancashire County Council Pennine Heritage Kirklees Council Calderdale Council
Bradford District Council Northern Rail Natural England Environment Agency The National Trust