Dorset Wildlife Trust has welcomed eight new aspiring young conservationists on a year-long training programme, aiming to strengthen the conservation work force and improve job prospects.
The Skills for the Future programme is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and helps individuals across the country gain the practical skills they need to confidently seek employment in the sector.
Dorset Wildlife Trust has been involved in the scheme since 2011, having secured funding for 4 trainees per year over a 3 year period. The programme has been so successful that DWT has been able to double the number of participants for 2013. All previous trainees have gone on to gain paid work within the conservation sector. This year sees trainees placed all over Dorset, with 5 practical posts and 3 education posts being filled by Amy Baker, Charlie Forrest, Claire Thackwray, Sally Wright, Tom Raymond, Megan Lowe, Kerrie Gardner and Emma Godden.
Steve Davis, Volunteering Programme Manager at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said:
“Only 7 weeks in and they already have a stream of training courses that are desirable to potential employers under their belts, such as First Aid, Health and Safety, Manual Handling and Food Hygiene, with upcoming courses including chainsaw qualifications and Forest Schools training for the practical and environmental education trainees respectively.”
Emma Godden, 2013 Trainee, based at the Fine Foundation Marine Centre in Kimmeridge Bay, explains:
“I live for the outdoors and ultimately would love to be sharing my enthusiasm in an environmental education/engagement post in the future. As a result, my training will largely focus on community engagement, connecting people with the natural world and enabling them to enjoy and learn about nature. So for me 2013 is a year full of opportunities for my personal and professional development.”
Megan Lowe, 2013 Trainee, based at the Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre, said: “I feel very fortunate to be part of this programme. Dorset Wildlife Trust has an exciting and varied calendar planned for us over the year; already we have taken part in species identification sessions, helped prepare events such as Walk for Wildlife and assisted the wardens with practical habitat management, to name just a few!”
What do the trainees get up to?
You can follow what the trainees are up to throughout the year by visiting the Dorset Wildlife Trust blog: http://dorsetwildlifetrust.wordpress.com or visit the skills for the future page.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Steve Davis at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01202 642788.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is owned by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and leased to Dorset Wildlife Trust who run the Centre on behalf of a partnership including the Chesil Bank and the Fleet Nature Reserve and the Jurassic Coast Team, with the continued help of local volunteers. The building of the new centre and boardwalk was made possible by funding from a wide range of organisations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Crown Estate and Court Leet of the Island and Royal Manor of Portland, the Fine Family Foundation, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Dorset County Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Chalk and Cheese and the Jurassic Coast Trust.
The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) www.wildlifetrusts.org
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.