Skills to grow - new strategy to improve urban green space skills
25 September 2008
Zoë Anderson, 020 7070 6772,
A new national strategy to improve urban green space skills, Skills to grow, is now out for consultation.
A survey of local authority green space managing departments this year found significant gaps in technical skills, such as horticulture and ecology, and in generic skills, such as financial management and marketing. Previous research had found a decline in the number of people choosing careers in creating and maintaining green spaces, and an ageing workforce with little ethnic diversity and few women.
Nicole Collomb, CABE’s Head of Public Space Management & Best Practice said: “The green space sector is facing a serious skills crisis with shortages of landscape architects, park managers and people with the horticultural know-how to maintain high quality green spaces. We are in danger of losing the essential skills needed to create and maintain liveable places just when we need them most, in the face of a changing climate and increasing concerns over the health impacts of our towns and cities.”
Skills to grow, developed by CABE with a wide range of national partners, proposes seven priorities including increasing awareness of opportunities in the sector, improving entry routes and career paths, and strengthening the quality of support including management training.
The strategy will inform a detailed action plan to be published in early 2009.
Skills to grow is out for consultation until 12 November 2008. CABE is inviting anyone connected with the green spaces sector to give their views on the challenges and the opportunities facing the sector, and what needs to be done to understand and address them.
Notes to editors
- The consultation is available from www.cabe.org.uk/skills-to-grow
- The following organisations helped to develop this strategy and will continue to support its delivery: Academy for Sustainable Communities, CABE Space, The Civic Trust, Communities and Local Government, English Heritage, Encams, GreenSpace, Groundwork UK, IDeA, ISPAL, Landscape Institute, Landex, Lantra, Local Government Association, Natural England, and the Royal Horticultural Society.
- The research referred to is as follows:
- Local authority green space skills survey: summary of findings - CABE Space, GreenSpace and Lantra, 2008
- Parks need people: the skills shortage in parks: a summary of research - CABE Space, GreenSpace et al, 2005
- Enhancing urban green space - National Audit Office report, 2006
- CABE is the government’s advisor on architecture, urban design and public space. As a public body, we encourage policymakers to create places that work for people. We help local planners apply national design policy and offer expert advice to developers and architects. We show public sector clients how to commission buildings that meet the needs of their users. And we seek to inspire the public to demand more from their buildings and spaces. Advising, influencing and inspiring, we work to create well-designed, welcoming places.