Anna: Assistant Apprentice Ranger on Countryside worker level 2 apprenticeship

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Anna had tried a number of roles, but fancied a change that would allow her to follow her passion for nature and the outdoors and this apprenticeship was the perfect fit.

Why did you decide to start an apprenticeship?
I’d had a variety of jobs in the past and wasn’t feeling very fulfilled. I’ve always had a passion for nature and an apprenticeship with the National Trust was the perfect opportunity to get into a career in conservation.

Woman planting tree saplings on a hillside
Planting trees in Holnicote (Anna Butler)

Why an apprenticeship rather than any other form of further education?
I’d not enjoyed university and the idea of learning on the job really appealed to me.

How were you signposted to an apprenticeship?
A family member sent me information about an apprenticeship with a different organisation which eventually led me to the apprenticeships offered by the National Trust.

What qualifications did you have before you started your apprenticeship?
A-Levels & GCSEs, but that wasn’t a requirement for this role.

Have you gained any qualifications or certifications during your apprenticeship so far?
I have been lucky enough to do some tickets while on my course such as chainsaw and off-road driving

What experience did you have before starting?
I’d volunteered for the National Trust around their Bath based properties occasionally before, as well as the RSPB at Dungeness. Other than that, I’m always out for walks looking at plants, fungi and birds and learning to identify them.

Do you feel you are receiving enough practical guidance for the work you are doing?
Yes. The Holnicote Estate is 12,000 acres and has a fairly large full-time Ranger team, so I’m not short of opportunities to learn!

How optimistic are you that you’ll get a paid post at the end of your apprenticeship, have you received good support in helping towards this?
Very optimistic. Even if I don’t get a job on this estate, there are plenty of other interesting roles available within the Trust as well as with other organisations within the conservation sector.

When you complete your training what area of work do you hope to move into?
A full-time Ranger role would be ideal, preferably with woodland to manage! Trees are endlessly fascinating to me.

Can you give any suggestions to others thinking of going down the same route?
Don’t hesitate to apply. You’ll learn so much on the job and have a great time doing it. I wish this sort of apprenticeship was more of a thing when I was applying for university years ago because I’d have got a lot more out of an apprenticeship than I did out of University.

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Posted On: 08/02/2023

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