Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) has launched new qualifications in land-based skills sector, marking the organisation’s entry into the sector.
The three new Level 1 qualifications cover agriculture, horticulture, environmental conservation and general land-based skills, and are aimed at school-leavers and new entrants looking to begin a career in farming, horticulture, landscaping or groundskeeping.
HABC’s entry into the sector marks the beginning of a new commitment to the land-based industries.
A Level 2 Diploma in work-based horticulture and two qualifications in land-based forklift truck operations are in development and due for launch by end of April 2014. Training materials such as HABC’s Apprenti-kits – which support learners on government funded apprenticeship programmes and have been well-received in other sectors – will also be available from spring.
Ian Benison, Chief Executive of Derbyshire based SLIC Training, which will be delivering the HABC qualifications, said, ‘We’re incredibly excited that HABC is offering qualifications in the land-based industries, and even more excited to be the first Centre delivering them. We have worked with HABC many times before and know how well-regarded they are in other sectors for consistently meeting the needs of employers, learners and training providers.
The land-based industries as a whole need 60,000 new entrants by 2020 in order to be sustainable. By offering qualifications at Level 1 we can give new recruits an insight into the sector whilst providing them with the appropriate skills and foundation from which they can make the next step in their own careers.’
Jason Sprenger, HABC Chief Executive, said, ‘Launching three new qualifications, with three more planned for April, is quite a commitment and demonstrates how seriously we are taking our entry into the land-based skills sector. When we looked at the sector we felt that it was under-represented in terms of the breadth of qualifications available, and the services being offered to training providers and employers. We are proud of the reputation we have established in other sectors for customer care and quality, and are keen to be able to offer the same standard of service to land-based employers and training providers so that they can support learners and improve their operations.’