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Conservation and Land Management

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Conservation and Land Management sector, which is a component of the Amenity Horticulture and Conservation industry. 

The Conservation and Land Management sector comprises businesses and organisations that operate national parks, nature reserves, council reserves, Indigenous protected areas, Commonwealth lands, private land and botanical gardens, to preserve flora and fauna in their natural environment. The organisations in this sector also provide support to Farmers and Fishers across Australia on best-practice sustainable agriculture. They are focused on expert management of natural assets such as soil, water and native vegetation. Caring for the land includes a range of activities, including:

  • Sustainable farm practices
  • Restoring native habitats and revegetation
  • Controlling weeds and pests
  • Developing and sharing local natural resource management skills and knowledge.
  • Threatened species management 
  • Sharing of cultural and management information.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required in the Conservation and Land Management sector for occupations such as:

  • Environmental Scientists
  • Agricultural Technicians
  • Gardeners
  • Park Ranger
  • Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers.

Nationally recognised training for the Conservation and Land Management sector is delivered under the AHC – Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package.

For information on the Amenity Horticulture and Landscaping sector please visit the respective page.

Information sourced from the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

There is insufficiently detailed data on employment in the Conservation and Land Management sector to provide an accurate analysis of employment trends.

For employment data, please refer to the Amenity Horticulture and Conservation industry cluster page.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were 8,240 program enrolments in Conservation and Land Management-related qualifications during 2018 and 2,250 completions. Program enrolment numbers have decreased substantially from what they were in 2016 and 2017. During 2018, 53% of enrolments were at the certificate I or II level with a further 34% at the certificate III level. The main intended occupations for students undertaking Conservation and Land Management-related qualifications were Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers (not elsewhere classified), Gardeners, Mobile Plant Operators (not elsewhere classified) and Park Ranger.

For enrolments during 2018 across all qualifications, approximately half of the training was delivered by TAFE institutes (52%) with a further 33% delivered by private training providers. Funding for the training was split between government and domestic fee-for-service at around 79% and 20% respectively. Students were split across several states and the Northern Territory, with the largest proportions living in Victoria and Queensland (22% each).

Relatively similar proportions of training were delivered in Queensland (22%) and Victoria (22%), followed by Western Australia (18%), Northern Territory (16%) and New South Wales (14%).

Apprentice and trainee commencement and completion numbers increased between 2015 and 2018 to be at their highest over the period 2010 to 2018. The main intended occupations for the apprenticeships and traineeships in 2018 were Mobile Plant Operators (not elsewhere classified) for the Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management; Gardeners for the Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management, and Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers (not elsewhere specified) for the Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management. Sixty two percent of the apprenticeships and traineeships were in Queensland.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

 If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast identifies Conservation and Land Management as a priority skill area. These skills can be related to a range of activities such as:

  • Sustainable farm practices
  • Restoring native habitats and revegetation
  • Controlling weeds and pests
  • Developing and sharing local natural resource management and skills
  • Threatened species management 
  • Sharing of cultural and management information.

The Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast identifies a wide range of digital technologies that are applicable to conservation operations. These include:

  • Tracking systems for animals and microchipping
  • Computerised maps and mapping
  • Data bases of flora and fauna
  • Computerised asset management systems in relation to nature reserves and conservation parks
  • Drones for mapping, monitoring and assessment
  • Computerised ticketing systems for the collection of visitor information
  • Use of satellite and GPS for scientific research on endangered vegetation
  • Handheld GPS and cameras for monitoring wildlife and visitor numbers.

In addition, the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast identifies climate and environmental sustainability as an area of challenge and opportunity for conservation and land management. This has led to an interest in traditional land management. In Northern Australia, Indigenous people are responsible for the majority of land management (58%). Indigenous land management is seen to lead to economic benefits and the undervaluing of these benefits can lead to underinvestment in Northern Australia.

The above Skills Forecast also notes that conservation and ecological protection may diminish as a result of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.  While Belt and Road aims to create a big-data platform for environmental protection and to combat climate change, this is not emphasised in the current implementation.   

 

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Australian Association of Bush Regenerators (AABR)

Australian Conservation Foundation

Australian Institute of Horticulture Inc.

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

Australian Institute of Landscape Designers and Managers

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Australian Native Plants Society (Australia)

Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Australian Wildlife Society

Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand Inc.

Centralian Land Management Association

Conservation Volunteers Australia

Director of National Parks

Ecological Society of Australia

Farm Tree & Landcare Association

Garden Centres Association of Australia

Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association

International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement

International Plant Propagators Society Australia

Environment and Invasives Committee

Landscape Australia

National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association

National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia

National Environment Protection Council

National Environmental Law Association

National Landcare Advisory Committee

National Landcare Network

National Landcare Program

National Parks Australia Council Inc.

National Urban Forest Alliance

NSW Marine Estate

Parks & Leisure Australia

Parks Australia

Permaculture Australia

Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SER Australasia)

Soils for Life

Soil Science Australia

The Wilderness Society

Weeds Australia

 

Employee associations

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)

Australian Workers' Union (AWU)

 

Relevant research

Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast – Skills Impact

Data sources and notes

Training data has been extracted from the from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • AHC – Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package
  • Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC10110 - Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC10116 - Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC21010 - Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC21016 - Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC31410 - Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC31416 - Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC40910 - Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC40916 - Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC51110 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC51116 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC60410 - Advanced Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC60415 - Advanced Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD10102 - Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD20102 - Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD30102 - Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD40102 - Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD50102 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD60102 - Advanced Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
  • Other Conservation and Land Management Related Qualifications
    • AHC31510 - Certificate III in Indigenous Land Management
    • AHC31516 - Certificate III in Indigenous Land Management
    • AHC31610 - Certificate III in Lands, Parks and Wildlife
    • AHC31616 - Certificate III in Lands, Parks and Wildlife
    • AHC31710 - Certificate III in Natural Area Restoration
    • AHC31716 - Certificate III in Natural Area Restoration
    • AHC32310 - Certificate III in Conservation Earthworks
    • AHC32316 - Certificate III in Conservation Earthworks
    • AHC32513 - Certificate III in Aboriginal-sites Work
    • AHC32516 - Certificate III in Aboriginal Sites Work
    • AHC51210 - Diploma of Community Coordination and Facilitation

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than five) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

AHC – Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2018 commencements
  • 2010 to 2018 completions 

2018 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2018 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Updated: 03 Feb 2020
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