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Apprenticeship first for the Trust

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust has become the first independent canal trust in the UK to take on a Water Environment Worker apprentice.

Nineteen year old Adam Rayner has begun work at the Trust on the level 3 apprenticeship, run in tandem with Bridgwater & Taunton College. The course was developed by the Environment Agency, in partnership with the National Trust, the Canal and River Trust and Somerset Drainage Board in conjunction with the Canal & Rivers Trust in 2019, and the Wey & Arun Canal Trust is the first independent canal trust to invest in the 18-month apprenticeship scheme.

Adam will work with Trust employees Dave Evans and Kevin Baker to gain on-the-job training while studying remotely and in person at the West Country college. 

With no shortage of projects on the go and ongoing canal maintenance tasks, Adam will receive a thorough grounding in many elements of canal restoration through the Trust, from site work, health & safety to habitat management and more and is looking forward to meeting volunteers now that working parties are back in operation.

Adam said his background working with the Girlguiding and Scouting movement and interest in the outdoors made the role an appealing one. “I’m looking forward to learning many new things and being able to work with all the volunteers. The apprenticeship scheme means I get some real hands-on experience alongside my classroom work, and a professional training qualification at the end of it.

Wey & Arun Canal Trust vice-chairman and training director Margaret Darvill said: "This is a bold move for an independent canal trust and we are really proud to have been able to offer Adam this opportunity to learn about waterway management and show how rewarding canal restoration can be. The Trust already employs two full-time maintenance and restoration staff and so we are well placed to take on an apprentice, offering on-the-job training alongside structured college-based learning. 

Margaret added that it was a particularly exciting time for Adam to join the Trust as the Tickner's Heath road crossing project in Alfold in Surrey gets underway. Adam has been working with Dave at the site and said he had been enjoying seeing the project develop. "I’ve seen it from pretty much the very beginning and I’ll see it to almost its very end of phase 1 as an apprentice, which will be really good."

Gill Davies
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
  • Adam is looking forward to working with volunteers as part of his apprenticeship.