TCV WildSkills is a traineeship to provide young people with barriers to employment an opportunity to start a career outdoors. With the generous support of the People’s Postcode Lottery, TCV is able to provide this programme across the UK to 32 trainees per year.
WildSkills trainees are immersed in conservation sector roles developing skills in 3 of TCV’s main work streams; practical conservation, community engagement and biodiversity.
These 3 themes are the foundation to roles within the conservation sector. Developing these skills along with core workplace skills gives trainees the edge when applying for future roles in the sector.
The traineeship gives trainees the skills that are becoming increasingly important to develop a career in the industry, such as:
- Conservation skills- environmental/habitat management, surveying and species identification skills.
- Project management skills- financial and budget management skills, volunteer management skills.
- Essential skills- such as literacy, numeracy, basic ICT, communications, interpersonal, and community/customer relations skills.
After 12 months, trainees will have developed a wide range of skills and knowledge from their experiences of working on projects, supporting events and working with community groups.
This background experience combined with the support from TCV and SCVO for planning for future employment. We hope to nurture trainees so they are ready to look at the next steps towards employment within the sector.
By the end of the traineeships, we aim for the trainees to have developed the skills, knowledge, and experience to be applying for project officer roles.
On job training
The trainees develop experiences and skills in a number of different areas, branching across TCV Scotland’s varied projects. Trainees shadow and support senior project officers carry out tasks and supporting projects whilst developing confidence to lead elements within the projects.
Being immersed in the projects that TCV undertake means that the trainees will develop skills that cannot be taught in an indoor classroom setting. Working in different scenarios with different day to day challenges gives the trainees a wide range of experience and add to their skill sets.
Different learning settings
TCV as a charity has people centred values with people at the heart of the work that we do. We tailor our teaching styles to meet the needs of the individual and the group.
Trainees have the opportunities to learn on the job from fellow staff members, given the opportunity to experiment and take on lead roles, and also be able to take part in training workshops to gain theory and share good practice with each other.
In the environmental sector having experience is key. Having skills in practical conservation and people engagement are what employers are looking for in potential candidates. Those who have gained experience by volunteering for charities and been involved with various projects have the upper hand when it comes to recruitment in the sector.
What the trainees say
From the start the trainees have shown adaptability and resilience. They have turned their hand to a range of tasks, engaged with varying volunteers from different backgrounds and with different abilities.
What the trainees excel at is bringing their individuality, their new exciting ideas, and their enthusiasm for The Conservation Volunteers and the work we do.Amy Styles, WildSkills Team Leader
My time so far with TCV has been rewarding as well as great fun. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning a variety of new skills as well as working alongside my fellow trainees, project officers and team leaders. A highlight was assisting Butterfly Conservation with the removal of invasive spruce and rhododendron from the peat bogs on Islay.Liam Morton, WildSkills Trainee
During this time, I’ve learned how to use hand tools and power tools to build planters, hedgehog homes, wooden stools, plant pot-holders etc. I’ve also improved my plant, tree and other species ID skills. I think the WildSkills programme will massively improve my prospects. I was looking to get into the sector for a while and didn’t know where to start, but now I think I’ve got enough experience and knowledge down to apply for jobs.Claire MacKenzie, WildSkills Trainee