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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.

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

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 7,370 program enrolments in Conservation and Land Management-related qualifications during 2020 and approximately 1,930 completions. Program enrolment numbers have decreased substantially from their peak in 2017. Overall, program enrolments in 2020 were predominantly at certificate II level (35%) or certificate III level (34%). The main intended occupations for students undertaking Conservation and Land Management-related qualifications were Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers (not elsewhere classified), closely followed by Gardeners.

More than half (55%) of all Conservation and Land Management-related qualifications in 2020 were delivered by TAFE institutes, and private training providers delivering more than a quarter (27%). Overall, most of this training was government funded (87%) with domestic fee-for-service comprising approximately 12%.

Queensland (22%) had the highest proportion of students enrolled in Conservation and Land Management related qualifications in 2020, with New South Wales (20%), Victoria (17%) and Northern Territory (15%). Overall, similar proportions of training delivery were reported across the states and territories, in Queensland (22%), New South Wales (21%), Victoria (17%) and Northern Territory (16%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements decreased between 2012 and 2015 before increasing to 2018 when they reached more than 920. In 2020, there were 820 commencements in Conservation and Land Management related apprenticeship or traineeship.  The number of completions follow a similar pattern, peaking in 2018 with approximately 680 apprentice and trainee completions. In 2020, 590 apprentices and trainees completed their training.

The main intended occupations for the apprenticeships and traineeships in 2020 were Mobile Plant Operators (not elsewhere classified), followed by Gardeners. Queensland (58%) had the highest proportion of apprentices and trainees in training in 2020.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

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

Conservation and land management are important parts of governments climate policies, as well as supporting job creation. The Queensland Government’s $500 million Land Restoration Fund aims to expand carbon farming through support of land-sector projects that deliver environmental, social and economic benefits, including jobs. In the first round, up to 690 jobs were expected to be created in occupations such as graziers, Indigenous Rangers and fire managers.

Further, Queensland’s Protected Area Strategy 2020-2030, is a new ten-year plan for supporting the growth, management and sustainability of national parks and other protected areas. According to the Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2021 Skills Forecast (Annual Update), the Strategy is generating local jobs, such as rangers and contractors, First Nations ranger groups and conservationists. The Protected Area Strategy aims to complement the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program through place-based partnership opportunities in support of co-stewardship of environmental and cultural landscapes, as well as creating jobs and training opportunities, including two-way knowledge transfer.

The Western Australian Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program aims to realise agriculture’s potential to sequester carbon in the landscape and contribute to the growth of the state’s carbon farming market. The program will target projects that prioritise public co-benefits, which include: increasing and protecting biodiversity and conservation; building the resilience and productivity of agricultural enterprises; protecting priority water assets and land; improving soil health and preventing the loss of valuable top soil; creating regional jobs, training investment opportunities for Aboriginal and regional businesses; and, strengthening the connection to Country using traditional Aboriginal knowledge and practices.

Links and resources

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

 

IRC and skills forecasts

Amenity Horticulture, Landscaping, Conservation & Land Management IRC

 

Relevant research

Western Australian Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program – Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

 

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

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

Landcare Australia

Landcare Victoria

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

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)

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 Ecosystem Management
    • AHC10110 - Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC10116 - Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC10120 - Certificate I in Conservation and Ecosystem Management
    • AHC21010 - Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC21016 - Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC21020 - Certificate II in Conservation and Ecosystem Management
    • AHC31410 - Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC31416 - Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC31420 - Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management
    • AHC40910 - Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC40916 - Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC40920 - Certificate IV in Conservation and Ecosystem Management
    • AHC51110 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC51116 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC51120 - Diploma of Conservation and Ecosystem 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:

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 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:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions 
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 14 Dec 2021
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