Trailblazer Apprenticeships

In 2012 a government-commissioned review found that there were key areas of the apprenticeship programme where significant improvements could be made to make it more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers.

Consequently trailblazer, or pilot, apprenticeships are being developed. They are designed to...

  • Increase the quality of apprenticeships. Apprentices will need to demonstrate their competence through rigorous assessment. This will focus on the end of the apprenticeship to ensure that the apprentice is ready to progress
  • Put employers in the driving seat. In future, apprenticeships will be based on standards designed by employers

  • Simplify the system. The new employer-designed standards will be short and easy to understand. They will describe the skills and knowledge that an individual needs to be fully competent in an occupation

  • Give employers purchasing power. Routing government funding for the external training of apprentices via employers, to empower businesses to act as customers, driving up the quality and relevance of such training.

Employers working together to design the standards and assessments for apprenticeships is a key feature of the new system, as it will lead to apprenticeships that are higher quality and more relevant to your industry. By getting involved in developing the standards, employers will have the opportunity to define the skills, knowledge and behaviours required in their future workforce.

It is expected that these apprenticeships will launch in the 2017/18 academic year.

The following trailblazers apprenticeship standards are being developed for the land-based and environmental sector:


Standards Approved for Delivery

  • Arboriculture, Forestry and Amenity Horticulture - Arborist
  • Arboriculture, Forestry and Amenity Horticulture - Forest Operative
  • Sports Turf Operative
  • Sports Turf Golf Greenkeeper
  • Arboriculture, Forestry and Amenity Horticulture - Horticulture and Landscape Operative
  • Land-Based Engineering - Land-based Service Engineer
  • Land-Based Engineering - Land-based Service Engineering Technician


Standards Published

  • Animal Care - Animal Care and Welfare Assistant
  • Animal Care - Animal Trainer
  • Fencing - Fence Installer
  • Agriculture and Production Horticulture - Crop Technician (Horticultural/Fresh Produce/Arable/Glasshouse)
  • Agriculture and Production Horticulture - Packhouse Line Manager
  • Sports Turf Advanced Golf Greenkeeper
  • Sports Turf Golf Course Manager
  • Equine - Equine Groom
  • Equine - Senior Equine Groom
  • Farriery - Farrier
  • Arboriculture, Forestry and Amenity Horticulture - Horticulture and Landscape Supervisor
  • Agriculture and Production Horticulture - Poultry Worker
  • Agriculture and Production Horticulture - Poultry Technician


Standards Approved for Development

  • Agriculture and Production Horticulture - Stock Person
  • Environmental Conservation - Countryside Worker
  • Environmental Conservation - Conservator
  • Environmental Conservation - Historic Environment Practitioner
  • Environmental Conservation - Environmental Manager
  • Environmental Conservation - Ecologist
  • Game and Wildlife - Underkeeper
  • Veterinary Nursing
  • Floristry