Arborist - Level 2 Apprenticeship

Writtle University College are excited to be offering the new Arborist Apprenticeship Standard, which has been specifically designed by employers to meet the needs of industry and provide you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in your industry.

As an Arborist Apprentice you will need to be committed to learning both the practical and vital underpinning knowledge needed to work in this role. An arborist will undertake aerial tree work but will also undertake ground-based activities. Your work as an arborist involves diverse activities such as chainsaw work, aerial tree work, pruning, dismantling and using appropriate machinery such as brushwood chippers. To support this wide skills requirement the Apprenticeship includes eleven of the key Competency Certificates to building up your skills from chainsaw maintenance, to being able to safely carry out work on trees through climbing and access via MEWPS. Tree work can be physically demanding and involves working outdoors in all weathers. As an apprentice you must adhere to safe working practices, carry out physical work and be prepared to work in all weather conditions. You will be required to have dedication and commitment to cope with the rigours of the role.

The course involves one day a week attendance at college, where you will work with your qualified, industry experienced lecturer. Then you will be with your employer for the remainder of the working week. Your lecturer will also visit you in the workplace approximately every 10 weeks to meet with you and your employer.

At the end of the Apprenticeship you will be required to complete an independent End-Point Assessment and holistic project to prove you have gained the required skills and knowledge needed to achieve the Apprenticeship.

You will:

  • Work in your chosen industry for a minimum of 30 hours per week.
  • Be in a suitable job role, that will involve aerial tree work and be comfortable working at height.
  • Have appropriate PPE and practical equipment to the relevant safety standards – a kit list is available.
  • Get paid a minimum of the Apprenticeship Wage.
  • Study in a flexible way.
  • Be assessed and graded with either a pass, merit or distinction at the end of your programme by an Independent Assessment Organisation.
  • If you do not have a GCSE Grade 4 (C Grade) in Maths and English you will complete Functional Skills in English and Maths or there is the option to study for Maths and English GCSE (depending on previous qualifications).
  • Complete work-related tasks and assessments.
  • Receive mentoring visits in your workplace from your Writtle University College Training Officer, who will provide support, assess and review your progress.

Course Content

The apprenticeship provides a mix of in-depth underpinning knowledge and practical skills that will produce a highly qualified and employable apprentice.

Topics include:

  • Recognise health and safety needs onsite and work safely
  • Take instruction from the job supervisor and other senior work colleagues to include signing onto the site specific risk assessment / emergency action plan and maintaining records.
  • Process tree work arisings using appropriate machinery
  • Recognise a range of tree and shrub species using common and scientific names
  • Identify pests, diseases, disorders and tree defects
  • Carry out a range of ground-based pruning operations
  • Fell and process small trees
  • Support aerial tree workers both Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) and climbing with transfer of equipment for aerial tree work operations
  • Perform an aerial rescue of colleague from a rope and harness and a MEWP
  • Work safely at height in the tree under supervision
  • Prepare sites for planting, plant trees and provide support, protection and aftercare

The course includes the following competency certificates

  • Level 3 award in emergency first aid at work
  • Level 2 award in safe use of brushwood chipper
  • Traffic Management (NRSWA Unit 002 Signing, Lighting and Guarding) OR Sector Scheme 12D
  • Level 2 award in chainsaw maintenance
  • Level 2 award in cross-cutting timber using a chainsaw
  • Level 2 award in felling and processing trees up to 380mm
  • Level 2 award in accessing a tree using a rope and harness
  • Level 3 award in aerial tree rescue operations
  • Level 3 award in aerial cutting of trees using free fall techniques
  • Level 2 award in safe use of mobile elevated work platform
  • Level 3 award in use of a chainsaw from a Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP)

Further details on the course content can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education website.

How do I apply?

An apprentice needs to be in paid employment, so whilst you can apply for the Apprenticeship before you find an employer, you'll need to be employed before you can start the course. Many of our Apprentices already worked or volunteered for the companies who then decide to support them through their Apprenticeship. Our employers range from large local authorities and national contractors to micro companies. We are always happy to provide your employers with the information they need regarding potentially employing an Apprentice and can offer advice, however small or large businesses may be.

I don't have an employer

If you are interested in becoming an Apprentice, but don't have an employer please visit our website for tips on how to find an employer and to see a list of our current Apprenticeship vacancies.

I have an employer

If you have secured or are already in relevant paid employment with an employer willing to support you through the apprenticeship please complete the application form.