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

As increasing numbers of young people leave rural areas like the Yorkshire Dales due to issues such as lack of affordable housing and lack of employment.
Matthew is an exception. One of nine young people to start our Environmental Apprenticeship scheme in 2016, Mathew is staying in the area he grew up in and working with a local company while studying part-time towards a Diploma in Environmental Conservation. Matthew and our other Apprentices are on their way to promising careers in conservation and countryside management.

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 rural areas of the Yorkshire Dales the chance to stay and work here. The two year scheme 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 onto the career ladder, it also invests in their education and personal development.

Our Apprentices study part-time towards a Level 2 Diploma in either Environmental Conservation or Landscape Horticulture at Craven College. They also have the opportunity to take part in a range of specialist training courses to gain certificates in chainsaw and brush cutter use, off-road driving, habitat surveying and tree planting, 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 and around the Yorkshire Dales, our current Apprentices work for:  

  • Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • Conservefor
  • Cumbria Wildlife Trust
  • Sedbergh School
  • Marsden Agricultural and Environmental Contractors
"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. Seven of our current Apprenticeships are provided through the Green Futures youth environmental programme, and many of our Apprentices take part in events like our Environmental Summit or are members of the programme steering group. 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. Sian Bentley our Apprentice at Cumbria Wildlife Trust was recently appointed onto the Our Bright Future national steering group, an amazing achievement!  

YDMT on Facebook