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Skills to grow: 7 priorities to improve green space skills An update from the National Cabe Space Strategy by Nick Jones Green Space South West Training.

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Presentation on theme: "Skills to grow: 7 priorities to improve green space skills An update from the National Cabe Space Strategy by Nick Jones Green Space South West Training."— Presentation transcript:

1 Skills to grow: 7 priorities to improve green space skills An update from the National Cabe Space Strategy by Nick Jones Green Space South West Training skills workshop 09 December 2008

2  The green space skills gap evidence base

3  ‘The skills base in green space management has wasted away resulting in low skilled and poorly motivated staff, and difficulties in recruiting. This has been accompanied by a loss of confidence, vision and focus from professions’ 2002 : Urban green spaces taskforce

4 Components of sustainable communities:  ‘Well-maintained, local, user- friendly public and green spaces with facilities for everyone including children and older people’  ‘Protecting and improving natural resources and biodiversity’ 2004 : The Egan review – skills for sustainable communities

5 ‘Our parks and green spaces are facing a crisis just as their value to society is being rediscovered’  ‘career prospects rated as poor, very poor or non-existent by 54%  ‘the workforce is an ageing one, with 68% over 40 and 92% over 30’  ‘no ethnic diversity and the proportion of women working in the sector is only around 10%’ 2004 : Parks need people need parks

6  ‘Progress in enhancing urban green space continues to be held back by skills shortages’  ‘support for training…which equipped green space managers with the skills to think and plan strategically and engage successfully with communities, local politicians and officers’’ 2006 : NAO report, Enhancing urban green space

7  75% had Investors in People standard  Average annual training budgets are less than 1% of staff budgets  80% said revenue budgets won’t increase next year  37% said lack of skills in fundraising affects service delivery  68% said lack of skills in horticulture affects service delivery  40% said lack of capacity to deliver was the reason for not offering horticultural apprenticeships 2008: Local authority green space skills survey

8  Overview of the strategy  Challenges, priorities and actions The strategy

9 Skills to grow. Seven priorities to improve urban green space skills.  A national framework for improving urban green space skills  Funded and supported by Department for Communities and Local Government  Developed with key national green space skills delivery partners  Consultation on draft until November 12 th 2008  Completion by March 09

10 5 strategic challenges and opportunities 1.Problems with recruitment and retention 2.Lack of workforce diversity and inclusion 3.Broader skills base needed 4.Better management and leadership skills 5.Lack of joined up working

11 7 strategic priorities 1.Increase awareness of sector 2.Improve entry and career structures 3.Improve quality of training 4.Improve management and leadership skills 5.Increase overall investment in skills 6.Build capacity for joined up working 7.Build a better evidence base

12  Who’s responded  Overview of general response  Response to specific questions Consultation feedback to date

13 13 Who’s responded?  52% public sector (local)  24% private sector  11% public sector (national)  8% voluntary/community  5% public sector (regional)

14 Who’s responded?  27% landscape/park managers  16% landscape architects  14% planners  9% arboriculturalists  6% horticulturalists  6% urban designers  4% education  4% architects  4% environmental conservation

15 Overview of responses  50% agree we have included all the key challenges and opportunities  89% agree the outcomes we’ve identified are the right ones  81% agree we included all the right priorities and actions

16 Which skills are most important and which are most lacking?  Horticulture and plant knowledge  Landscape design and creativity  Managing ecological systems  Community and stakeholder engagement  Marketing and communications  Business skills and financial management ‘ I have been involved with local government and the private sector for around 30 years and I cannot think of another area of work that has such a widespread portfolio. Nor do I know of many jobs that require such widespread knowledge.’

17 What is the fundamental problem and what are the underlying causes?  Low pay, lack of investment and poor perception of sector is fundamental problem  Underlying cause is that green space is undervalued  More specifically the demise of apprenticeship schemes since CCT, restricted budgets and weak leadership in local authorities ‘salaries within the green space sector need to recognise not only the technical abilities but also the complexity of the social, economic, political and legal framework within which green space management takes place’

18 Have we included all the key challenges and opportunities facing the sector?  Challenges:  lack of support for long term management of green space  the time for staff to attend off site training courses  colleges not teaching the right skills  shortage of planners impacts on green skills  Opportunities:  the Olympic Park as a showcase of green skills  high public interest in wildlife  the economic case for green infrastructure

19 Have we included all the right priorities and actions?  improve public perception of green space industry  work closely with education providers to ensure skills match needs  work with volunteer groups such as BTCV  develop training in community engagement for local authorities  include training for non-green space decision makers and fund holders

20 What actions do you think will have highest impact?  raising the profile of green space  providing good information on what careers can offer and how to access them  better support and investment for green spaces in local authorities  more apprenticeship schemes ‘it will take a consistent approach for a generation…the drivers being money, opportunity and reward. More demanding jobs will fuel better training and more education opportunities for broader, higher level skills which would raise status of those working in the sector’

21 What else do we need to do to better understand the issues?  carry out in depth surveys of skill base in local authorities to identify specifics of gaps  comparative studies with other service sectors  identify what attracts people to the sector  work with colleges to develop short courses to address gaps  research alternative management structures to identify a suitable model which can ensure overall investment is increased

22  And now…. Feedback from the South West Regional Survey

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