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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, Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast and the Agriculture, Horticulture Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

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

IRC and skills forecasts

IRCs now submit comprehensive Skills Forecasts to the AISC every 3 years, with abridged annual updates submitted in the intervening 2 years.

Amenity Horticulture, Landscaping, Conservation & Land Management IRC

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 almost 7,840 program enrolments in Conservation and Land Management-related qualifications during 2019 and over 2,280 completions. Program enrolment numbers have decreased substantially from what they were in 2016 and 2017. During 2019, 46% of enrolments were at the certificate I or II level with a further 39% at the certificate III level. The main intended occupations for students undertaking Conservation and Land Management-related qualifications were Gardeners, Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers (not elsewhere classified), Mobile Plant Operators (not elsewhere classified) and Park Ranger.

For enrolments across all qualifications in 2019, approximately half of the training was delivered by TAFE institutes (53%) with a further 29% delivered by private training providers. Funding for the training was split between government and domestic fee-for-service at around 83% and 16% respectively.

Students were split across several states and the Northern Territory, with the largest proportion living in Queensland (24%), followed by Victoria (19% each). Similar proportions of training were delivered in Queensland (24%) and Victoria (19%), followed by New South Wales (17%) the Northern Territory and Western Australia (16%).

Apprentice and trainee commencement and completion numbers increased between 2015 and 2019, with a similar number of commencements recorded in 2018 and 2019 (about 920 for each year). The main intended occupations for the apprenticeships and traineeships in 2019 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-five percent of the apprenticeships and traineeships were reported 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 importance of conservation and land management skills came to wider prominence in late 2019 and into 2020 during and following extreme events, in particular the bushfires that burnt more than 12.6 million hectors across a number of Australian regions.

Prior to the bushfire season, major Indigenous organisations, including the Northern Land Council, provided feedback on the need to consider further work on skills relating to fire in relation to conservation and land management (Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast). It is expected that natural fuel reduction by burning will remain on the national agenda in 2020.

The extreme weather conditions and events in 2019-20 also stretched conservation and land management workforce resources due to the unprecedented response protecting Australian flora fauna. Activities to relocate surviving species have increased substantially and will continue for some time. According to the Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast, a major concern is that the lack of access to appropriate training for volunteers may have adverse environmental impacts.

With an estimated 60 000 abandoned mines across Australia and large mining proposals considered as an option for developing northern Australia, there is real opportunity for determining best practices for mine site rehabilitation. These includes the development of required skills. Since 2018, the Amenity Horticulture, Landscaping and Conservation and Land Management IRC has identified skills for rehabilitating former mine sites and established skills gaps for training through industry consultations.

The use of digital technologies provides opportunities for Conservation and Land Management (as identified in the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast). A project team comprising two of Northern Australia’s universities, a French satellite company, four Indigenous organisations and the CSIRO is an example as they track buffalo by satellite.

Links and resources

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

Relevant research

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

 

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

Landcare Australia

Landcare Victoria

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)

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 to 2019 program enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 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 2019 commencements
  • 2010 to 2019 completions
  • 2019 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2019 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 28 Sep 2020
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