Evaluation report of the Wildlife Skills Programme (2014-2017)

The Wildlife Skills Training for a Career in Nature Conservation programme funded through Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Skills for the Future delivered 57 training placements in a range of conservation skills for people from diverse backgrounds across 4 Wildlife Trusts in the South West of England; Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.  Forty-seven (82%) highly trained individuals are now employed in the sector, with the other 10 in further training, or expected to gain employment very soon.

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This scheme is now closed to new applicants, but a similar programme called Wild Paths is available from 2018 to 2021 across five of the South West Wildlife Trusts - click here for more information on this new scheme and how to apply.

A downloadable copy of the final evaluation report for Wildlife Skills can be found here.

Case studies

There are so many personal stories from the programme about how trainees’ lives have been changed.  Below are some statements from trainees and case studies of 4 former trainees.

“Without this traineeship I wouldn’t be working in conservation, I owe my career to this scheme.  I had gotten to the point where I had decided this was my last try of getting into the sector and that I would redirect if it didn’t work out, luckily I didn’t have to do that” - PC trainee, now working for WT

“Before I had my traineeship, all I had to write in the ‘Relevant Qualifications’ box on job application forms was my degree and a first aid course.  When a Person Specification asked for a long list of ‘tickets’ it decreased my chances of success before I even started.  Now the list is rather more substantial! Have finally got my dream job and it’s all thanks to that amazing year in Somerset” – PC trainee, now working for RSPB

“Thanks also to the Heritage Lottery Fund, without whom my traineeship would not have been possible. Their funding brings so many projects to life within wildlife conservation; in my case, their funding empowered me to leave a profession that my heart was no longer in and begin dedicating my working life to my love for the natural world” – CE trainee, now working for local authority as community ranger

You can read more about our Wildlife Skills trainees here.

More information

A downloadable copy of the final evaluation report for Wildlife Skills can be found here.

For further information on Skill for the Future training programmes, please contact the Wild Paths Project Co-ordinator on 01305 264620 or email  or twitter: @Wild_Paths

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Dorset Wildlife Trust

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