The Countryside Alliance has unveiled details of a new Government approved ‘Underkeeper Apprenticeship’ that it has developed with input from 20 lowland and upland shoots in a major step forward for the shooting community.
The apprenticeship has been published by the Institute of Apprenticeships, the Government body for administering vocational training schemes, and funding has been formally agreed.
Shoots will now be able to employ apprentices safe in the knowledge that they will be trained with the right skills to start their career. Funding of up to £7,000 for each apprentice has been allocated.
Adrian Blackmore, Director of Shooting, for the Countryside Alliance said: “The Government is committed to reforming how apprenticeships are delivered, with employers now specifying the standards that would make an apprentice valuable to them.
“Working with estates across the country we have helped them create an apprenticeship which will benefit both the apprentice, the employer, the shooting industry and ultimately the countryside and rural economy as a whole.”
The 18-month course is wide ranging and embraces these responsibilities so that the next generation of keepers will become increasingly effective advocates, securing a sustainable future for shooting.
Liam Bell, Chairman of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation said: “Training courses and qualifications are continually evolving, and it is only right that the new agreed standards for the Underkeeper Apprenticeships have been led by people from within the game shooting sector. I have had a look at the new standards and am I very impressed.”