The ASSET ecology training course has been developed to train you to an adequate standard to undertake various ecological services as a sub-contractor for Arbtech, and to introduce individuals to a career in ecological consultancy. ASSET is intended to help bridge the industry’s key failing: the gap between graduating in a relevant environmental subject and undertaking professional work as a consultant.
Last year we ran ASSET for nearly 50 students and related-field professionals. This year, we have two sets of course dates to choose from. Spaces are limited. Book your place today to avoid missing out.
ASSET began in 2017 and was originally an acronym for Arbtech Summer Starters Ecology Training, designed to take ecology graduates and bring them up to a standard where they could earn money as a sub-contracting assistant working alongside full-time Arbtechers at our larger sites. It involved an ASSET candidate shadowing a full-time Arbtecher for a period of time before being allowed to assist on a (paid) survey.
In 2018, ASSET evolved. Arbtech ran two ASSET courses in Staffordshire for 50 trainees and aspiring consultants. Many of the course participants have since been engaged on a variety of ecological tasks with Arbtech, and one of the participants is now working as a full-time consultant with us.
The course is led by Chris Formaggia and various senior consultants at Arbtech. ASSET consists of five classroom sessions of 5 hours - a total of 25 hours of taught content. There are also 3x field survey elements, providing further contact hours with tutors and extremely valuable real-life survey experience with licenced consultants.
The vision for ASSET is to make it pertinent and affordable to all graduates and early-career individuals: high impact and low-cost.
You have the choice to pay in full for the course or offset your course fees against the paid work you do for us as a sub-contractor (once you have passed the course and are signed off as competent to assist on surveys by one of our consultants). Effectively, other than giving your time to gain the requisite knowledge and skills you need to undertake paid work in the industry, the fees offset scheme makes the course free.
Whether you wish to pay in full or take advantage of the fees offset scheme, ASSET course fees for 2019 are £250+VAT. Includes all materials and refreshments. Excludes travel and accommodation. See terms and conditions for full details.
Key skills of ecological consultants, on and off-site decision making, and a practical introduction to report writing. Individual homework assignment.
Combined introduction to amphibian and reptile surveys. The day includes in-field practical survey sessions and an evening survey for GCN. Individual and group homework assignment.
Introduction to bat surveys and techniques. The day includes bat handling, in-field practical survey session and a dusk emergence survey. Individual and group homework assignment.
Introduction to PEA/Phase 1 Habitat Survey and the desk study, a GIS drawing skills session and practical, in-field PEA survey session. Individual and group homework assignment.
Close out day: Sessions on "Working for Arbtech", various mammal surveys, birds, in-field practical survey session, presentation of best student award, distribution of USB-pen drives, company apparel etc, and leaving drinks!
On successful completion of the course, students will receive a completion pack that includes: CPD certificate, a USB pen-drive containing all course materials and a suite of report templates for you to practice with and use, guidance materials, and so you can get out on site with our consultants right away—earning money doing a job you love—a Company t-shirt and ID card/lanyard.
We're also creating an ASSET online community where you will get access to private LinkedIn and Facebook groups. Here, you have a safe environment to ask the questions you don’t want to ask elsewhere, and get honest, straightforward answers from Arbtechers; as well as industry updates, technical advice notes, and much more besides.
We've worked really hard to design and deliver a course that really adds value for you and closes some of those academia-into-industry gaps. But why take it from us? Here's what some of ASSET 2018 have to say about the course and working with us...
I had the privilege of attending ASSET ecology training from January – May 2018. As a graduate student that was struggling to find a job at the end of my university course, I saw ASSET as the perfect opportunity to gain essential knowledge and experience within an ecological consultancy environment.
Upon completion of the course and assisting with various ecology surveys with one of the senior consultants at Arbtech, I was offered a full-time position with the company. I was over the moon!
I have been working with the company since June 2018 and I have already achieved so much in a short amount of time. I am currently working towards my great crested newt and dormouse licence. I am an accredited agent on a bat licence.
I am trained up to undertake preliminary roost assessments, great crested newt surveys, nesting bird checks and bat emergence/re-entry surveys.
During one of our busiest times in September, I carried out bat surveys in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in less than 2 weeks!
Thank you Arbtech for this amazing opportunity.
Before starting ASSET I had very little experience/knowledge of ecological consultancy, having studied wildlife conservation at university. The classroom sessions provided me with a great background knowledge of the surveys and the processes in consultancy, and the opportunity to shadow experienced, senior consultants in the field, allowed me to gain practical experience of the surveys.
Within one season I was able to start carrying out sub-contracting work with Arbtech and have had some brilliant opportunities to travel and work on some great projects. Without ASSET I probably wouldn’t have been able to get into ecological consultancy, as I wouldn’t have had access to an amazing team of people to shadow.
It has been a pleasure to work with Arbtech this season and I really feel privileged to have been able to attend the ASSET course and to have been given the opportunity to learn so much.
Even now the emergence season is over I'm still doing some shadowing of daytime surveys where possible and am already excited for next season.
ASSET for me really felt like an essential first step into a future career as an ecologist. The focus of the course was wide enough to cover all of the important areas in detail, without being too technical or confusing for beginners.
Best of all, we got to experience bat and amphibian surveying techniques first hand. And it didn’t stop there – after meeting my local Arbtech ecologist I had plenty of opportunities to go out and shadow surveys, and before I knew it I was getting work as a paid subcontractor!
The Arbtech Summer Starter Ecologist Training course (ASSET) is the swiss army knife of professional development for entry level and experienced ecologists.
As a newly graduated student, ASSET has allowed me to develop a breadth and depth of theoretical knowledge and field skills essential for a career in ecological consultancy. Included in the course are classes and practical sessions on topics such as phase 1 habitat surveying, protected species surveying, environmental law and report writing.
Through ASSET I have gotten to know incredibly talented, enlightening and conscientious people who share a morally vested interest in wildlife conservation. The course has also kickstarted my early career in consultancy by presenting further opportunities to work for Arbtech as a subcontractor throughout the midlands.
We are always on the lookout for outstanding arboriculturists and ecologists. Take a look at our current opportunities.