New Apprenticeship Standards (Trailblazers)

Since the publication of The Richard Review of Apprenticeships in 2012, the Government has been implementing a programme of reforms to apprenticeships in England.  This is changing apprenticeship funding, what they contain and how they are developed.

Funding reforms include the introduction of the UK Apprenticeship Levy from April 2017 for companies with a paybill of over 3 million pounds and simplified funding for other employers to pay for training and testing of apprentices.

Employers now lead on the development of apprenticeships by forming Employer Groups and producing two key documents for each apprenticeship to be developed, in line with Government guidance.  These Apprenticeship Standards define the occupation that the apprentice will be trained for, including skills, knowledge and behaviours.  The associated Assessment Plan then explains how the apprentice will be tested at the end of the apprenticeship to demonstrate they have achieved the requirements set out in the Standards.

Trailblazer Apprenticeships currently in operation in England can be found on our comprehensive list of land based apprenticeships. Choose a sector to see more information about Trailblazer Apprenticeships currently under development:

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The following standards are still in early development and limited information is available:

  • Crop technician
  • Packhouse team leader
  • Poultry technician
  • Poultry worker
  • Stock person

Follow us on Twitter @NLBC_UK for more information when these standards are published, or search for current agriculture apprenticeships.

Animal Technologist – Level 3

Animal technologists are responsible for carrying out complex scientific procedures on laboratory
animals in compliance with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2012 (and other related animal welfare legislation, including the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006). Organisations employing animal technologists include universities, pharmaceutical companies, contract research organisations and biotechnology research and development organisations.

Read the Animal Technologist Apprenticeship Standard

Other Animal Care Apprenticeships in Development

The following standards are still in development and limited information is available at present:

  • Animal care and welfare officer
  • Animal trainer
  • Veterinary nurse

The Deckhand Apprenticeship Standard is currently in early development and limited information is available. Follow us on Twitter @NLBC_UK for more information when this standard is published, or search current Aquaculture and Fisheries Management Apprenticeships.

The following standards are still in early development and limited information is available:

  • Countryside worker (Environmental Conservation)
  • Historic Environment Practitioner
  • Pest Control Technician
  • Skilled Fencer
  • Underkeeper (Game and Wildlife Management)

Follow us on Twitter @NLBC_UK for more information when these standards are published, or search current apprenticeships available in Countryside Management and Gamekeeping.

Equine Groom

The Equine Groom is an integral part in the life of the horse, providing essential day-to-day care. They will be involved with feeding, grooming, cleaning equipment, handling, preparing, exercising the horses and carrying out routine yard duties. The Equine Groom may also be required to assist with the preparation of, transport to and care for horses at competitions, the races, sales, shows and other public appearances. Dependent on which sector of the industry the Equine Groom has chosen, appropriate people skills will be essential.

Read the Equine Groom Apprenticeship Standard

Senior Equine Groom

A Senior Equine Groom will provide for and coordinate the day to day care of the horses in the workplace. They will possess all the necessary skills to lead by example and will have the knowledge required to implement effective systems relating to the running of the yard. They will be capable of organising and monitoring the quality of work and ordering and maintaining supplies.

Read the Senior Equine Groom Apprenticeship Standard

Farrier – Level 3

Farriers are responsible for the maintenance and care of equine feet. They must have a thorough understanding of all aspects of equine hoof care, from grass roots pleasure equines right through to elite competition horses. Farriers are able to assess equines and their gait (movement). Farriers must be good communicators and problem solvers, they are able to give advice on various equine welfare options, from a trim for a horse at pasture through to basic remedial work on lame equines. Farriery is a regulated profession and all farriers are required to pass the Diploma of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (DipWCF) examination before being admitted on to the Register of qualified Farriers before they may legally practise. Once qualified a farrier may either practise as an individual or join a farriery practice to work as part of a team.

Read the Farrier Apprenticeship Standard


The work of an arborist involves diverse activities such as chainsaw work, aerial tree work, pruning, dismantling and using appropriate machinery such as brushwood chippers. Arborists can work for local authorities, private companies and many are also self employed. Tree work can be physically demanding and involves working outdoors in all weathers.
An arborist will undertake aerial tree work but may also be ground-based. They do a range of tree work jobs with indirect supervision. They are capable of supporting the tree work team across a range of basic technical skills.

Read the Arborist Apprenticeship Standard

Forest Operative

A Forest Operative will carry out the practical operations required to create, maintain and harvest forests and woodlands. Some will carry out operations across the range from planting to harvesting whilst others will specialise in a particular part of the process. All will need to be able and willing to do challenging work outdoors and in all weathers, would be expected to be aware of the full range of forestry operations, and to understand the relationship between commercial, environmental and social forestry. This Standard has two specialisms, candidates will need to choose either harvesting or establishment and maintenance.

Read the Forest Operative Apprenticeship Standard

Advanced Golf Greenkeeper

Upon completion the advanced greenkeeper will have the necessary skills to supervise the greenkeeping team and the maintenance of the golf course, in the absence of the head greenkeeper/golf course manager, and will assist in the planning, supervising and implementing the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course in line with the employer’s requirements.

Read the Advanced Golf Greenkeeper Apprenticeship Standard

Golf Course Manager

A Golf Course Manager is responsible for the management of the golf course, resources and staff, on behalf of their employer. They plan and implement maintenance schedules for the golf course and equipment and are responsible for the allocation of work, recruitment of staff to the greenkeeping team and will implement human resource polices within their team. They will implement strategic and budgetary plans. It is their job to oversee the production of quality playing surface and ensure the course offers a consistent challenge and an enjoyable experience for golfers.

Read the Golf Course Manager Apprenticeship Standard

Horticulture and Landscape Operative

Horticulture and Landscape Operatives can be employed to work in public parks and gardens, green spaces and historic gardens, private gardens and estates or in production nurseries and retail outlets. Many businesses will be specialised in their activities, such as grounds maintenance (soft-landscape) or landscape construction (hard-landscape).

Read the Horticulture and Landscape Operative Apprenticeship Standard

Horticulture and Landscape Supervisor

Horticulture and Landscape Supervisors can be employed to oversee work in public parks and gardens, green spaces and historic gardens, private gardens and estates or in production nurseries and retail outlets. Many businesses will be specialised in their activities, such as grounds maintenance (soft-landscape) or landscape construction (hard-landscape). A Horticulture / Landscape Supervisor can manage a site with minimum supervision, supervise a team and maintain the health and safety and security of personnel and resources.

Read the Horticulture and Landscape Supervisor Apprenticeship Standard

Sports Turf Operative

A Sports Turf Operative is responsible for the maintenance and renovation and overall appearance of one or more sports turf surfaces in accordance with the needs of the particular sport. It is their job to maintain an appropriate quality playing surface which reflects the carrying capacity of that surface to ensure that a sustainable playing surface is provided.

Read the Sports Turf Operative Apprenticeship Standard

Find out more about land based apprenticeships based on the standards currently available by clicking the relevant logo below:

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