Changing the Face of Urban Conservation thanks to National Lottery players

Thursday 31st May 2018

Natural Prospects - a new paid traineeship programme – is challenging barriers to working within the conservation sector.

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country is delighted to have been awarded a £544,900 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant to deliver the Natural Prospects programme. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this work-based practical training will equip 24 trainees with the skills to gain an entry level role in the urban conservation sector including a City & Guilds Level 2 Work Based Certificate in Environmental Conservation.

Our cities and towns are home to people with amazing talent from all walks of life but our conservation sector simply doesn’t reflect that. The Natural Prospects programme has been specifically designed to challenge the barriers that exclude some people from working in the environmental conservation sector. Applicants who are over 18 can apply for roles across Birmingham and the Black Country if they are either: non-graduates; in receipt of benefits; from an economically deprived area; or from a black or minority ethnic group.

Each year, 3 trainees will be hosted by the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country and 3 trainees will be placed with Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton Councils - based at the Lickey Hills, Walsall Arboretum and Pendeford Mill respectively.

The recruitment process will include working as part of a team on practical conservation tasks at different location across Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Jen Jones, Natural Prospects Co-ordinator, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for people who haven’t previously considered a career in conservation to gain skills, qualifications and work experience in the sector. And bringing in knowledge and experience from a more diverse range of backgrounds can only benefit urban wildlife.”

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “We are really excited to see this scheme get off the ground and recruitment start for these natural heritage traineeships in Birmingham and the Black Country.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, our investment in skills and new heritage talent will drive successful and lasting change, ensuring we build a more sustainable sector – vital if we are to address specific skills shortages to ensure buildings, landscapes, species, industrial heritage and museum and archive collections are sustained for the future.”

Recruitment for Natural Prospects is now open – to apply or find out more go to www.bbcwildlife.org.uk/NaturalProspects
 

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has raised £57m to date for projects funding skills placements in the heritage sector, including £10m investment made last year as part of a wider commitment made by HLF in the Government’s Culture White Paper that will address specific skills shortages to ensure buildings, landscapes, species, industrial heritage and museum and archive collections are sustained for the future.