The Natural Talent Apprenticeship scheme delivered by environmental charity The Conservation Volunteers in Scotland and Northern Ireland has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through its training bursary programme since 2006. The scheme continues to produce environmental professionals who have progressed into employment and further research across the United Kingdom.
The outcomes are excellent; with 100% of those completing the programme continuing to use some or all of their new skills to benefit the UK environmental heritage sector. So far, 25 of the 32 apprentices completing the programme have found employment. 5 are undertaking PhD’s.
Each apprenticeship, usually lasting between 12 and 18 months, has trained an individual in a taxonomic speciality or specialist habitat management skills in areas where there is a recognised heritage skills gap. In addition, new skills including event planning & management, project planning & management, community engagement skills, stakeholder engagement, training & mentoring are absorbed into the role of the newest generation of apprentices.