With UK unemployment at its lowest level since 1974, and businesses across many sectors desperately competing to attract the staff they need, leading land-based and environmental skills charity Lantra, has taken on the challenge to help attract new talent, and retain existing expertise in the sector, with the launch of its NEW website.
Lantra wound down the provision of a careers information service* back in 2014, when Government funding was cut, but now nine years on, it's using its own cash flow to re-establish its position as a trusted source for career information across a wide range of land-based industries.
The new website, with its extensive careers content, is just the first in a series of focused activities. Two full-time members of staff who are passionate about showcasing the exciting opportunities the sector has to offer have been appointed to drive the careers agenda forward.
When Lantra first embarked upon exploring this new website feature, it soon became clear from a wide range of stakeholders that careers information was thought too hard to find and difficult to understand.
The new website keeps it simple and aims to help visitors navigate easily by answering three key questions…
- What jobs could I do, and what do they involve?
- What training, qualifications, and experience will I need?
- Where can I get the training and qualifications I need?
These questions are just as relevant to people already in the workforce and wanting to progress their careers, as they are for new entrants. The new website gives details of more than 250 job roles across 12 industries and includes a selection of videos and case studies of real people, explaining what each job involves, how they got into their current role and why they love it.
One of the biggest misconceptions the sector faces is the outdated view that the majority of jobs available are low-skilled, low paid and offer little opportunity to progress. Nothing could be further from the truth; Lantra will highlight the amazing new technologies and innovative working practices that are springing up in many industries, whether it be GPS and drones, or robotics and precision farming. All require higher levels of technical skills as well as the ability to understand data, solve complex problems and lead increasingly diverse teams.
Lantra's recently appointed Chair of Trustees, David Llewelyn commented:
"Lantra's new website is designed to provide an easily accessible tool for people to explore their career options and training pathways.
"This is a significant development and will enable us to give people the information they need, literally at their fingertips. We know that the land-based sector is a great place to work with hundreds of varied roles, but its sheer scale has meant finding 'joined up' information all in one place has been a challenge.
"We're confident the new website will provide convenient, relevant and accessible information for people wanting to start a career in the great outdoors, and for those already working in the sector who want to progress their career to the next level."
Building skills through the right training and qualifications is essential to ensure that people work safely, productively and sustainably, as well as helping them progress to more senior roles.
All job roles on the new website are linked to a range of relevant qualifications and training. These can be university or college qualifications, apprenticeships, vocational short-courses, or e-learning. The new website already has more than 2,500 courses listed so people can find out more including where and when they are available.
James Broadhouse (aka Jimmy the Mower), Groundsman & Social Media Influencer commented:
"As someone who has spent his career and built his professional reputation working in grounds management, I certainly wouldn't want to work anywhere else. The thought of sitting in an office all day fills me with dread.
"The land-based sector has hundreds of fascinating roles and is a great place to work and establish a worthwhile career path regardless of whether you want to tackle the latest high end tech roles or if you're happy doing something more traditional.
"I like to think that through social media I can help do my bit to promote the sector and I'll have no hesitation in pushing this new Lantra website careers and training initiative."
As a not-for-profit organisation, with a long history of supporting land-based industries, Lantra is uniquely placed to provide objective information on careers opportunities and associated training and, whilst the provision of careers advice is not part of their remit, they are confident the wealth of information provided will help signpost individuals on a career path whatever their interests or aspirations.
Dawne Middleton, National Trust Gardener, Croome, Worcester, said:
"After a long and successful career in marketing, back in 2016, I took the brave decision to jump and pursue the career I've always dreamed of.
"Fast forward 6 years and I'm busy working as a gardener for the National Trust. My role involves improving the presentation of the garden to re-create the 6th Earl's vision of Croome, this involves pruning, planting and managing the diverse garden landscape using my horticultural knowledge, and I've never been happier.
"Getting the necessary training and RHS qualifications required lots of hard work and lots of studying. Sometimes finding out who was the right person to contact, or which was the most appropriate qualification wasn't straightforward, so Lantra's new website resource would've been invaluable.
"As part of my development, I also had the opportunity to teach some younger college students and I'm confident people in their position will also value the information on the new website."
The new website can be viewed here www.lantra.co.uk
For more information contact email@example.com or call 02476 696 996
*Scottish Government-funded support for careers has ensured this continued to be available in Scotland throughout this time.