The new advanced programme has resulted from industry demand for a higher-level option, according to Lantra project manager for apprenticeship frameworks Jo-Anne Bryan.
The framework provides for the NPTC Level 3 Diploma in Trees and Timber (Arboriculture). It has previously only been available at level 2. "We were finding employers were coming forward saying they wanted it," she explained.
"Through our industry group meetings we recognised there was a need for development of level 3. It was originally discussed a few years ago but never really took off because we didn't have industry support then. It is quite timely to add it now within the general apprenticeship review."
Mandatory units of the scheme include business management in the land-based sector, promoting health and safety and performing aerial rescue.
The programme is primarily for people aged over 19 and, unlike apprenticeships at level 2 for 16-18-year-olds, employers will incur a cost. Capel Manor College in north London plans to run the new apprenticeship from September. Business development manager Linda Hope said it was a welcome addition to the suite of training offered.
She revealed plans for the programme at the college's Celebration of Trees event on 23 April. "We have been lobbying Lantra about a level 3 apprenticeship, along with support from employers, and this is now going to happen," said Hope. Myerscough College will run the level 3 apprenticeship from September.
The launch of the programme comes as Capel Manor College is experiencing growing interest in its level 2 apprenticeship. Now in its third year, it has grown to 23 candidates from eight when it launched.