New apprenticeship standard opens opportunities in water environment and habitat management

A trainee water level management technician checks on a tilting weir on the Somerset Levels, as one of the locals looks on (picture Phil Brewin)

A new Level 3 Water Environment Worker Apprenticeship Standard has been approved for delivery, providing an opportunity for school-leavers to develop the skillsets to embark on a rewarding career in water environment management.

The standard aims to provide apprentices with specific transferable skills and bespoke training to excel in the maintenance, repair, and management of a variety of water environment assets and habitats, and is being supported by ADA, the membership organisation for water level and flood risk management authorities.

It also provides internal drainage boards (IDBs), the Environment Agency, local authorities and others with a wonderful opportunity to attract and develop talented people from all backgrounds.

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This new apprenticeship standard has been developed and approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, which is sponsored by the Department for Education to develop and approve high-quality apprenticeships and technical qualifications that provide the skills required in England’s workforce.

The Institute has worked with a number of relevant employers to develop this particular standard, including the Environment Agency, Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium, Cambridgeshire County Council, National Trust, Inland Waterways Association, Canal & River Trust, and Land & Water Group Ltd.

ADA Technical Manager, Ian Moodie, said, “ADA is strongly recommending our members to utilise this pathway to attract and grow the skills of those leaving education into our fascinating occupation. This can represent the first steps into a rewarding career for the next generation of water management professionals.”

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The standard covers a range of topic areas related to the water environment, including managing assets, responding to major incidents, flood risk and drainage, working with volunteers, water level management, and maintaining and working with heritage assets.

The apprenticeship scheme will take 18 months to complete, and more details can be obtained by contacting the Apprenticeship Trailblazer Chair, Paul Cross at

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