New traineeships in the Park – released 16 May 2014

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded funding to Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority to provide 12 year-long salaried conservation traineeships a year, for the next three years.

  A grant of £908,500 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Skills for the Future’ towards the ‘Skills in Action’ partnership which includes Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Torfaen County Borough Council.

The project will provide 12 year-long salaried traineeships each year over three years, providing individuals with hands-on work based experience in conservation and estate management.   This combines the attainment of a Level 2 City and Guilds qualification in conservation management combined with the opportunity to learn new skills and acquire knowledge by working with estate and conservation management teams.

The traineeship is aimed at those interested in pursuing a career in practical conservation and estate management or similar work.  The project aims to recruit primarily from local populations and award placements to those who seem most likely to benefit from the opportunity.

Skills in Action trainees will work alongside existing warden/ranger teams, undertaking a range of practical conservation management work throughout the year.  Opportunities will also be provided for individuals to gain additional skills in the heritage management sector for example working with information staff and environmental educators. The project will also provide additional training for staff in tutoring and assessing skills, to enable them to support trainees and pass on skills and experience gained in their years in the sector.

The project will provide thirty-six yearlong salaried traineeships : six per year with Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority , five with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and one with Torfaen County Borough Council.

Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Chairman, Mrs Julie James said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the young people of Wales and great news for National Park Authority and our project partners. We’re delighted that through this significant investment 12 new traineeships will be created right across Wales and we hope that this additional funding will help encourage growth in the conservation sector.”

Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Director of Countryside and Land Management Julian Atkins said “The project will provide training alongside qualified staff and will be an important stepping stone for young people to gain further training and employment.  We have evidence from other successful projects we have run in past years that indicate that these traineeships help secure employment elsewhere within the conservation field.  We look forward to welcoming the trainees in September and working with them over the coming year.”

Jennifer Stewart, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund said: “This project is a great way of giving people access to practical on-the-job training, at a time when we need to do all we can to give people a helping hand to follow their careers.  Making sure we have a skilled workforce for the future by making sure we have sufficient numbers of trained people to protect and conserve our wildlife and inspire the public to get involved will help to ensure a strong and resilient sector.”

Application packs can be obtained here while the application process is open.

To meet staff and find out more about the programme we will be holding ‘drop-in’ open days on Friday 6th June (1:30pm- 4:30pm) and Sat 7th June (10am – 1pm) at the National Park Visitor Centre, Libanus, Brecon.  The application closing date is 20th June 2014.

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Bannau Brycheiniog National Park lies on the border between Mid Wales and South Wales and is a landscape that offers a legacy of unparalleled proportions.  From spectacular mountain ranges, internationally renowned geology, waterfalls, market towns, bountiful wildlife, diverse recreational opportunities to the highest peak in southern Britain – Pen y Fan. It contains some of the most spectacular and distinctive upland formations in southern Britain and covers an area of 1347 sq km (520 sq miles). It was also awarded International Dark Sky Reserve status in 2013 – Wales’s first and only one of five destinations in the world to be granted the prestigious accolade.

Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 36,000 projects with more than £5.9bn across the UK