Pro Arb asked its readers about their experience of and further requirements in education and training
With training high on arb companies’ agendas, Pro Arb has carried out a survey of its readership to find out what training arboriculturists have undertaken, how they found it and what more is required to make sure professionals working in the sector are well enough equipped to do their job.
Seventy percent of those answering that question had studied full-time with the remaining 30% having studied on a part-time basis. Among those who had studied full time, longer courses were more popular with 44% having taken three or four years, 40% two years and only 16% completing their full time training in one year.
Conversely, one year courses were the more common choice for part time students with only 36% taking two or more years to complete their studies. One of the issues raised by respondents was why one year placements had become less popular over the years.
Course content is often debated so it was important to find out what people thought was missing from their courses. Administrative and business skills were most in demand. Fifty-five per cent of those answering the questionnaire would like to have learned more about the tendering process, 37% said they would have benefited from content pertaining to running their own businesses and 32% would like to have covered contracts in more detail. Other suggestions included tree surveying, waste management and legal matters such as planning permission. Most believed that it was not the practical aspects of arboriculture that needed more study time. Twenty-one per cent did not feel strongly enough to register a response to this question.
With this in mind, the next question was about future training. Only a small percentage thought they didn’t require any further training at all. Tree surveys and inspections scored the highest at 34%. The next most common answers with 24% and 21% respectively were risk assessment/health and safety and the tendering process, correlating to the previous question. There were many other suggestions for further training including practical aspects such as mortgage reports, expert witness and CAD.
In summary, 74% of survey participants believed that the training they had undertaken was valuable and could be recommended to others wanting to pursue a career in arboriculture. There were, however, plenty of areas they would like to have seen covered in greater detail.