Environmental Apprenticeships

An Environmental Apprenticeship is a life-changing opportunity – providing careers for young people who want to live & work in the Yorkshire Dales and ensuring that there are future generations of expertly trained people to manage this special landscape.

Environmental Apprentices

Increasing numbers of young people leave rural areas like the Yorkshire Dales because of limited job opportunities and lack of affordable housing. 

Matthew's story is different. One of nine young people to start our Environmental Apprenticeship scheme in 2016, Mathew stayed in the area he grew up in and worked with a local company while studying part-time towards a Diploma in Environmental Conservation. Matthew, and the many other young people who have been part of our apprenticeship scheme, started their careers in the environment sector right here in the Dales.

Environmental Trainees learn natural flood management techniques in the Yorkshire Dales
“I enjoy getting out and about and learning new skills, like dry stone walling, track repairs, building stone dams and sediment traps. You get a sense of achievement.” 
Matthew Lambert, Apprentice at Marsden Agricultural and Environmental Contractors


About the scheme

The Environmental Apprenticeship scheme gives young people who live in the Yorkshire Dales and surrounding areas the chance to stay and work here. An apprenticeship combines college studies with certified training courses and hands-on work based experience with a range of organisations. Not only does the scheme help local young people to get on the career ladder, it also invests in their education and personal development.

Our apprentices study part-time towards a Level 2 Countryside Worker apprenticeship at Craven College. They also have the opportunity to gain certificated skills appropriate to their job, like chainsaw and brushcitter use, ATV driving, habitat surveying, species identification or trailer training, to name just a few. 

Environmental Apprentices learn natural flood management techniques     Environmental apprentices learn woodland skills     Outdoor First Aid training for Environmental Apprentices
Learning natural flood management techniques, woodland-based activities and Outdoor First Aid training. 


The employers

Apprenticeships are available with a range of local employers in the Yorkshire Dales, Nidderdale, Forest of Bowland and South Cumbria. These will vary from year to year but recent employers have included:

  • Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • Chris Myers Garden Design
  • Conservefor
  • Cumbria Wildlife Trust
  • Dinsdale Moorland Services
  • DTMS Group
  • Gardenmakers
  • Marsden Agricultural and Environmental Contractors
  • Ribble Rivers Trust 
"Opportunities for young people in the Yorkshire Dales can be limited, so it's a real pleasure for the National Park Authority to be part of the new scheme. It brings a range of different employers together under one umbrella to provide real working experience and opportunities for our young people across the Dales and I can only see it going from strength to strength." 

Alan Hulme, the YDNPA’s Head of Ranger Services.

Wider opportunities  

There are some fantastic opportunities available for young people to follow their passions and goals outside of their apprenticeship. Many of our apprentices take part in events like our Environmental Summit or have become Ambassadors for YDMT. Several of our apprentices have also become involved in Our Bright Future, a nationwide movement which aims to give young people the skills and knowledge to improve their local environments.