A LOCAL scheme which trains youngsters to become environmental professionals has been given a £326,000 boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Sheffield, Yorkshire and Derbyshire Wildlife Trusts will use the grant to deliver the Skills for Wildlife training programme for young people aged 16 to 19.
Rachel Stevenson, training officer at Sheffield, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this money to continue our good work training future environmental professionals.
“With the grant money we can extend the project for another year and run this training programme.”
The Heritage Lottery Fund was particularly impressed with the way the three Trusts’ have taught young people hands-on skills.
It also noted the enthusiasm of the trainees for the apprenticeship scheme.
Trainee David Hickinbotham said: “It is the best scheme I have ever been on.”
Over the past 18 months the scheme has successfully trained people to gain Diplomas in Environmental Conservation and helped them achieve their First Aid Certificates.
Trainee Sophie Knowler said it certainly helped her get the type of job she has always wanted.
She said: “It would have taken me years to gain the experience I’ve got over the last year if it weren’t for the Skills for Wildlife project and this has enabled me to get a job in animal conservation.”
The new grant will allow trainees to learn a variety of heritage conservation skills.
These include dry stone walling, fencing, woodland and wetland management skills.