What is a Traineeship?
The traineeship will prepare young people for their future in Arboriculture by helping them to become ‘work ready’.
About the Traineeship
Once you have successfully completed the familiarisation exercises, you will be enrolled on the Traineeship.
The Traineeship consists of 4 block weeks taught by the Arb Academy staff, and 2 weeks work placement with an employer.
Quite often you will already have an employer before you start on the traineeship, but it is vital that you have one, in order to carry on into the apprenticeship.
Generally it is up to you to find your placement, but we can also help point you in the right direction.
The important thing is that you talk to us about it. We don’t want to find out too late that you don’t have an employer to go to, and be unable to help you.
There are four block weeks, consisting of four days, Monday to Thursday, and are about familiarising you with the sort of things you will encounter in your workplace, and getting you some basic qualifications to allow you to work on site.
The examples below give a rough idea of what to expect, but the timetable is deliberately flexible to allow for changing employer requirements and weather!
Introduction, basic equipment use and ROLO.
The first day usually consists of introductions to the team and your groups, the inevitable paperwork, and some simple familiarisation exercises.
We then move on to cover the basics of Arboricultural practice. Learning how to install ropes in trees and how to attach things to those ropes.
You will also cover the basics of maintenance and the fuelling and oiling chainsaws,
and how to prepare materials such as branches and timber for further processing.
We will introduce you to the terminology used in our industry and how to ensure the safety of yourself and others.
We will train you to sit a ROLO (Register of Landbased Operatives) Health and Safety exam at the end of the week. This is a qualification issued by BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) and consists of about 6 hrs of training followed by a 30 minute multiple choice written exam. It covers basic worksite safety, health and safety law, protective equipment etc.
It is a requirement, on some sites, that you have this, or a similar, qualification before you can work there.
The exam will then be marked immediately by the tutor, and you will be informed of the result on the day.
Manual Handling, Chainsaw use and First Aid
In this week we cover practical assessment and training in manual handling techniques. It is important to ensure that you are able to lift and carry materials as safely as possible.
Your teaching team will be able to give you the many examples of what happens when you don’t!!
It is also important that you are familiar with basic chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting. We will cover everything from air filter maintenance and cleaning to sharpening, and then how to start and use a chainsaw safely to cross cut timber.
You will then be prepared for an external assessment which will take place as soon as possible after your training.
First Aid is a vital skill in our industry. There are numerous examples of Arbs having their lives saved by quick thinking workmates, with first aid skills. You will be trained and assessed in Emergency first aid at work during this week.
A week of practical techniques in tree climbing. We introduce you to some basic climbing concepts. You will become familiar with the equipment used in day to day work, how it is used, and how to inspect, maintain and store it.
You may already have climbed trees, or watched other people climbing, but regardless of your degree of experience, this week is designed to ensure that we all get to the same point in the end.
You will learn how to plan your route into the crowns of trees, and be able to achieve anchor points suitable for the point on the tree you wish to reach.
We supply several different types of climbing kit, and it is important that you try different harnesses. Selection of harness is a very personal thing for a climber, and is influenced by your body shape and climbing style. One person’s ideal harness will be another person’s most uncomfortable one.
We positively encourage you to try as many different kinds as possible, so that you arrive at the best fit for you.
Although there are many different climbing systems, we will start with very simple knot and rope systems. This gets you into the habit of tying knots, as you can imagine and invaluable skill in Arb, and also allows us to maintain your safety.
We will introduce you to different systems for climbing trees, later on in the course.
Basic tree identification, CV building preparation for your work placement
It is a vital skill to be able to identify the trees you are working on. There are several reasons for this. Firstly you are a professional tree worker, and you should know the subject. Secondly, trees vary in their timber characteristics, and some are very brittle, or very heavy and in some cases toxic. You need to know what you are working on to keep yourself and others safe and to be able to perform the job efficiently.
This will involve being able to identify trees from leaf, bud and ‘body language’
You will need to be willing to learn botanical names. They are the international language of Arboriculture. They can seem quite complicated, being a mixture of other languages, usually Latin and Greek, but there is a logic to them. A good tree identification book is essential and a list of recommended ones is included towards the end of this guide.
Your CV is the record of your working life. It can be either electronic, or on paper, but essentially a good CV is your shop front and the first thing any new employer will see. WE will show you how to make the most of this document.
Weeks Five and Six
By this point, you will have an employer lined up, and you will join them for a couple of weeks. This is a chance for you to get to know the employer, and for them to get to know you.
Before you commence work, we will have been to see your employer, and explained what is required of both them and you, and how everything works.
We will check that you are being put into a safe working environment, and that the employer fulfils all the obligations both we, and the law require of them.
The vast majority of people move from the work placement into the apprenticeship, but sometimes there are issues, which sometimes lead to people either being delayed or not progressing into the Apprenticeship
On successful completion of a traineeship you can then consider: