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Qualifications and Training

Paper qualifications are not essential for all sectors of the agriculture industry. However for people without any qualifications at all, work tends to be poorly paid and seasonal. Some areas of the industry are difficult to get into without paper qualifications. There is a great range of qualifications on offer from basic introductory courses up to degree level, with many being run at your local college.

Always check that qualifications are recognised by a professional body so that you know it meets the standards required by the industry you are going into (especially if you are paying a private college or training organisation).

If you are thinking of setting up your own business - perhaps becoming a contractor - you can find short courses at your local college and through your local trade organisations. These can include first aid, bookkeeping, customer service, chainsaw use, etc. Basic skills courses to improve your English or maths are usually free.

Forestry related qualifications available at your local college include:

Competency certificates in the use of chainsaws, chemicals, felling, tree climbing, etc. Available on a part-time basis or intensive course over a weekend, etc

Modern Apprenticeships and National Traineeships allow you to work for an employer and study at college for an NVQ.

NVQ levels 1 to 4 in forestry. These teach work-based skills and you can study them whilst working.

First and National Diplomas/Certificates in forestry, countryside and arboriculture. These are usually studied full-time and provide work experience.

GNVQs and AVCEs in Business, Land and Environment. These work-related courses can be studied full-time or part-time at college

Higher National Certificate and Diplomas (HNCs and HNDs) in forestry and a range of related subjects. The HNC can be studied part-time whilst the HND is part-time.

Degrees in forestry, environmental science, sciences are suitable for people wanting to go into management or research

Many organisations also provide training:

Lantra - the lead training organisation for land-based industries www.lantra.co.uk - accredits courses in the land-based industries. They have a careers section on their website and a register of training providers in your area. Below is a list of some of the qualifications Lantra accredits:

National Occupational Standards Title NVQ/SVQ Qualification Structure Titles
Fencing Fencing Levels 2 and 3
Fencing (Vehicle Safety) Level 2
Treework Arboriculture Levels 2 and 3
Forestry/Treework - Establishment Levels 2 and 3
Forestry/Treework - Harvesting Levels 2 and 3

Arboricultural Association offers a Technician's Certificate

Royal Forestry Society offers a Certificate and Professional Diploma in Arboriculture

Many trade associations run short courses.

For more information on agriculture careers, use our Careers Information web pages at http://www.wiltshire.ac.uk/careers/

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