TRAINING FOR A CAREER IN ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

With her eyes firmly set on a career in environmental conservation 25-year-old Elizabeth Ross is off to a great start thanks to Lantra’s Women and Work award, which helped Elizabeth secure her first job. Since 2006, the Women and Work programme has worked with over 1212 companies in England to support 3,250 women develop their skills and progress their careers in industries where women are under-represented. To celebrate the end of the 2010/2011 training programme, the nine top learners were recognised at the second annual Lantra Women and Work Awards, sponsored by VectorWorks Training, at Nailcote Hall, Warwickshire, on 30 March 2011. “Without doubt getting Lantra funding for the additional training I needed helped me get my job and my foot on the conservation career ladder,” says Elizabeth. “I was able to approach my employer not just with my degree but also with a bundle of additional training which I think gave me the edge over other potential candidates.” Elizabeth, who studied environmental consultancy at Newcastle University, started work as a graduate ecologist with Northumberland-based E3 Ecology, last September. She had worked for the company two days’ a week during her final year at university and approached her employer for a full-time job when she knew she had the added advantage of the Lantra funding. “A friend who volunteers with the BCTV told me about the Women and Work awards and so I looked into it and got in touch with Lantra straight away. What was so good about the award for me was its flexibility. I was able to pick the courses I knew would benefit my employability and enhance my career.” Elizabeth signed up for six different courses, which have taken her from Exeter to Glasgow over the past six months. Between September last year and this February she has completed training in badger ecology and mitigation, otter ecology and mitigation, water vole ecology and mitigation, bat survey and risk assessment, site assessment and report writing and winter tree identification. “I discussed my choice of training options with my employer which was great because the grant meant I could tailor my training to benefit my job. And being a graduate I knew I couldn’t afford one of the courses let alone six, so it took away the financial pressure for me.” Elizabeth now plans to establish herself with the company and work her way up the ranks with the option of doing further research into otters in the river systems of Northumberland. “I always knew I wanted a career where I spent the majority of my working day outside,” she says. “My grandfather is a hill farmer so I grew up on a mix of farming and also being influence by my grandmother, who was a head teacher. “The job I’m in now is a perfect combination of the academic and the outdoors. I’ve been working on a variety of schemes from school extensions, bat assessments in old buildings and bird surveys for a proposed windfarm. “The work is varied. There are a lot of dawn starts and late dusk finishes but its very rewarding and I’m enjoying it all. There’s no doubt I’m here in part thanks to the support I got from Lantra’s Women and Work award.” Lyndsay Bird, Lantra Women and Work Programme Manager said, “Elizabeth has shown her dedication to environmental conservation through her in depth training. It proves that continual development can lead to greater career opportunities, which is what this programme is designed to achieve.” The Lantra Women and Work funding programme will commence in June 2011 (subject to contract). For more information and to register your interest visit www.lantra.co.uk/Women-and-Work. Follow Lantra on twitter at www.twitter.com/LantraSSC. ENDS ISSUED BY Lantra Press Office Samuel Zelmer-Jackson, PR Co-ordinator Tel: 02476 858 418 or email media@lantra.co.uk Follow Lantra on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LantraSSC CREDIT FOR PHOTO Elizabeth Ross – Lantra’s Women and Work Environmental Conservation Joint Award Winner 2010/11 NOTES TO EDITOR About Women and Work • The Women and Work: Sector Pathways Initiative is about raising skills and unlocking potential. The project aims to raise recruitment levels in sectors where women are under-represented; increasing earning potential and aiding career progression. The initiative is in response to recommendations by the Women and Work Commission’s report ‘Shaping a Fairer Future’ and receives government funding, matched by employer contributions. • Women and Work funding is available to those working in agriculture, aquaculture, environmental conservation, farriery, fencing, fisheries management, game and wildlife, horticulture, landscaping and sports turf, production horticulture, land-based engineering and trees and timber. • For more information: www.lantra.co.uk/women-and-work/ About Lantra • Lantra is the Sector Skills Council for land-based and environmental industries, working to ensure these businesses access the training, qualifications, skills and knowledge they need. • Lantra represents 17 industries: agricultural livestock and crops; animal care; animal technology; aquaculture; environmental conservation; equine; farriery; fencing; fisheries management; floristry; game and wildlife management; land-based engineering; horticulture, landscaping and sports turf; production horticulture; trees and timber and veterinary activities. • By working together with the sector, Lantra leads research on skills issues and business needs, sets national standards and develops qualifications to meet modern business needs and help businesses grow through skills. • For more information see www.lantra.co.uk.

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