First meeting to be held on Thursday 12 October

The LI is exploring options for opening up new routes into the landscape and placemaking profession. If you are interested in supporting the development of a new landscape apprenticeship, we want to hear from you.

Created by the profession, for the profession

An apprenticeship is work-based training that leads to a nationally recognised certificate. Apprentices spend one fifth of their time learning, and the remainder of their time in employment. Employers provide support and give apprentices opportunities to gain relevant workplace experience. Apprenticeships are a good way of developing skilled staff and bringing new people into a business.

Employer groups called ‘trailblazers’ develop the standards that determine apprentices’ tasks and job roles. This approach leads to recognised and transferable skills and qualifications, making apprenticeships more relevant. Trailblazer groups have been at the forefront of creating new apprenticeship standards, with hundreds in existence or development.

Apprenticeships could help to tackle the serious issue of skills shortages in the landscape and placemaking sector. They provide an education route without the need for debt accumulation, and promote diversity and inclusion in the profession. The LI is keen to create apprenticeship routes that reflect the broad spectrum of specialisms in landscape and placemaking firms: landscape architecture, management, ecology, planning, urban design, place management and more.

Commitment from the profession

The creation of a new apprenticeship route can only happen with the whole profession behind it. It will take time, work and resources – but if we get it right, the value added to the profession could be substantially more.

Daniel Cook, Chief Executive, Landscape Institute

Trailblazers must comprise a minimum of 10 employers that reflect the diversity of organisations in the sector in terms of size, specialism and geographical spread. The LI is looking for people who can commit to meeting in person every few months, as well as engaging online. We are keen to hear from senior HR personnel, as well as employers.

It can take between one and two years to approve a new apprenticeship standard, although this is subject to change as commitment pressures vary.

The LI thanks BDP for hosting the first trailblazer meeting at their London studio in Clerkenwell on Thursday 12 October, between 2.30 and 6pm. This is an opportunity for employers who are interested in supporting the creation of a new landscape apprenticeship to get together and exchange ideas.

Attendees must be serious about supporting the creation of an apprenticeship, but attending does not formally sign you up to the traiblazer. From among those in attendance, we will need 10 employers to come forward to form the core Trailblazer Employer Group.

Members of the core group will need to be willing to put forward both staff and financial resources. As required by the Institute of Apprenticeships, employers who join the trailblazer should intend to take on an apprentice when the standard is ready.

Please register your interest to attend this meeting. Please note that spaces are limited due to capacity and the need to ensure that the breadth of the profession is represented.

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would still like to support the trailblazer, please let us know by completing the form linked to above.

Why join the landscape apprenticeship trailblazer?

Taking part in this project will put your business at the forefront of skills development for your sector. It will also provide an important opportunity to ensure the relevant apprenticeship programme is geared to suit the needs of your business, as well as the wider profession.

The trailblazer is a great networking opportunity, allowing you to build relationships with businesses of all sizes. And it will also raise awareness of your business’s investment in the future of your profession.

Engaging education providers

Education is another important aspect of apprenticeship development. The next step following the first trailblazer meeting will be to engage at least two education providers. If you are an education provider and would like to express your interest in being involved when the time comes, please get in touch with Future Talent Manager Poppy Smith via or on 020 7685 2656.

Background: the apprenticeship levy

On 6 April 2017, the government introduced a new apprenticeship levy that changed how apprenticeship routes are funded, with the aim to reach three million apprenticeship starts in 2020.

The amount payable is 0.5% of a company’s annual pay bill, and applies to companies with a payroll of more than £3 million. This funding contributes to the training and assessment of new apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are a devolved policy, meaning that legislation around their funding and support will be different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Companies that do not meet the levy threshold have the option to ‘co-invest’, with the government meeting up to 90-100% of the training costs. This is a huge incentive for many landscape and placemaking practices.

Find out more at


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