Rural Skills Scotland aims to meet the needs of industry

Rural Skills Scotland is now delivering a range of vocational qualifications designed to meet the needs of the land-based sector.

Developed in response to demand from rural employers and industry bodies, the qualifications reflect the changing needs of the land-based sector, allowing existing staff to formalise their knowledge and expertise as well as providing opportunities for career advancement.

They comprise

  • SVQ Level 2 Estate Maintenance — A practitioner level multi-skills qualification covering topics such as emergency planning, environmental good practice, game and wildlife habitat management, health, safety and security, joinery, machinery maintenance, path maintenance, roofing and plumbing and working with others.
  • SVQ Level 3 Estate Management — This supervisory level multi-skills qualification covers topics such as agriculture and livestock, built and natural heritage, community engagement, environmental conservation, forestry, game and wildlife and tourism and hospitality.  The concepts of stewardship, environmental best practice, community engagement and education are embedded within this qualification.

Modern Apprenticeship in Rural Skills — To help address skills needs and gaps in the land-based sector, this new programme has been developed by Lantra Scotland and allows the trainee to specialise in estate maintenance or estate management as part of their apprenticeship.

Candidates studying towards these qualifications do so whilst learning on the job.  Their assessment takes place in the workplace, which reduces the amount of time they spend off-site.

To achieve any of these qualifications, trainees need to prove that they can carry out certain work-related tasks. This is achieved through a portfolio of evidence showing what they’ve done at work, and through observation by an assessor. By watching the candidate work, they check that tasks are carried out competently and to agreed industry standards.

Candidates compare their performance with the industry standards as they learn. They look at what they have achieved, how much they still need to do and how they should go about it, until they are assessed as competent.  Rural Skills Scotland Ltd supports the candidate throughout the process with one-to-one meetings and a variety of learning support materials.

In addition to offering these three new qualifications, Rural Skills Scotland Ltd has commenced the Fife forestry shared apprenticeship scheme.  this pilot project is in direct response to a series of discussions held with Forestry Commission Scotland, other industry bodies and forestry businesses to address concerns over an ageing workforce and shortage of new entrants, as well as the ability of forestry businesses to employ new staff and provide continuity of work to keep them busy.

Find out more from Rural Skills Scotland.