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Apprenticeships at Spring Lane

We are proud to be offering exciting new countryside and land-based apprenticeships at our Spring Lane campus.

The extensive ground at this campus allows learners to develop a wide range of skills in a purpose-built environment. With a team of experienced staff that come from a range of industry backgrounds, apprentices will benefit greatly from learning in a space that inspires confidence and encourages the development of knowledge and skills which will give them a solid foundation for a successful career. 

We are offering three exciting new Apprenticeship Standards at Spring Lane, including Animal Welfare Assistant, Countryside Worker and Horticulture/Landscape Operative. All of which will provide dedicated learners passionate about pursuing careers in the land-based sector with the knowledge and skills needed for them to start out on a pathway to success.

Horticulture or landscape operatives can be employed to work in public parks and gardens, green spaces and historic gardens, private gardens and estates or in production nurseries and retail outlets. Many businesses will be specialised in their activities, such as grounds maintenance (soft-landscape) or landscape construction (hard-landscape). Soft- landscaping includes the establishment and maintenance of plants and cultivated areas. Hard-landscaping includes establishment of hard surfaces and structures in addition to the establishment of plants in cultivated areas.

Download the full information sheet

Animal Care and Welfare Assistants look after the routine day to day husbandry and care of domestic and/or wild animals under guidance in a variety of different settings. The work is carried out individually or as part of a team in places such as kennels and catteries, laboratories, animal welfare centres, farm parks, rehabilitation centres, retail outlets and in the transportation of animals. Animal Care and Welfare Assistants must have a strong work ethic and be prepared to work irregular hours in all weather conditions. They must maintain safe working practices and taking responsibility for themselves, animals and others. 

Download the full information sheet

Countryside Workers are the custodians of our rural outdoor scenery. They conserve the environment that makes the English countryside both distinctive and special. They take care of our protected landscapes - National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Nature Reserves as well as private landed estates, country and, to a degree, urban parks.   

Countryside Workers carry out specific environmental and conservation tasks and they will also be clear about how practical conservation work interacts with the productive and recreational use of the countryside. 

Download the full information sheet

Information for Employers

As an employer, you will benefit from EKC WorkHigher’s expert and experienced Business Development team who will provide you with a tailored service to suit your unique business requirements. Our team will guide you through the entire apprenticeship journey from the recruitment process and enrolment, throughout their course duration right through to completion. We will also help you secure any government incentives your business may be entitled to.  

We value communication highly at EKC WorkHigher and pride ourselves on strong relationships with our employers, therefore we promise to always keep you informed and up-to-date with your apprentice’s progress, learning and success whilst providing you with whatever support and guidance you might need. 

By employing an apprentice, you will be able to secure the ideal candidate to benefit your workforce and fit your organisation. EKC WorkHigher recruits specifically with our individual employers in mind, finding fitting candidates whom organisations can mould and inspire as they develop new skills and knowledge unique to your business. 

Spring Lane is a specialist land-based campus set over 2 hectares with wide ranging facilities including: 

  • a large animal management centre;
  • a heated and fully furnished glass house;
  • various polytunnels;
  • a mature orchard;
  • wildlife areas and ponds; 
  • student common room and leisure areas;
  • learning resource centre. 

Home to more than 500 animals and over 2,000 invertebrates, with extensive grounds for conservation and land management education, the Spring Lane site offers East Kent residents the unique opportunity to learn from experienced industry professionals in ideal surroundings. 

£64,000 of investment in facilities and upgrades included health and safety upgrades, the installation of a new boiler in the glass house and installation of Wi-Fi in the animal unit and in the glass house to increase students' ability to use technology in the practical areas of the site. 

The College has also subscribed to the industry-standard Zoo Industry Management System (ZIMS) to ensure that students have access to the most up-to-date resources, which will enhance their employment opportunities in the future. 

The glasshouse now boasts a brand-new boiler in preparation for the implementation of a revamped horticulture curriculum offer to support the needs of local businesses as well as supporting local people who wish to re-train in a land-based career. 

Become an apprentice employer

Contact the WorkHigher team for more information and to register an interest in becoming an apprentice employer.