Training Course From Intern Perspective

Written by Tir Coed / Tuesday 29 May 2018

As part of my internship I am looking at combining what Tir Coed currently do in terms of woodland management with an element of horticulture / agriculture in an effort to diversify Tir Coeds aims and objectives.

In an effort to assist with this I felt it was essential that I got a good understanding of the courses Tir Coed currently offer and so the best way to do this was to become a course participant. This gave me a unique insight as I was both a participant and someone working for Tir Coed. I could see how the course had been developed behind the scenes and how it was carried out in ‘real world’ circumstances.

I became a participant in the Ceredigion Sustainable Woodland Management course held in Coed Ty Llwyd outside Llanfarian. The 12 weeks gave participants ‘hands on’ experience of woodland management and sustainability. They also got to create installations, e.g. building a pole lathe, and produce items using traditional techniques. While the participants were developing these skills they had the option to gain accreditation (in the form of Agored Cymru units) that would enhance their CV. In order to complete these units they documented their progress in a workbook which was both a memento and an illustration of exactly what they achieved which would be ideal to show potential employers.

While on the course I got a good insight into the way the participants developed.  All participants grew in confidence, not just in the skills they were developing but also within themselves, as they interacted with the people around them. The group developed a good sense of rapport and participants not only worked on their own but assisted others when help was needed. As the participants developed their skills they began to take the initiative, perceiving the next steps that needed to be taken as they developed their crafted items. From this it was obvious that most individuals in the group were growing in confidence. They started off being afraid to make mistakes and even express what they learned, but by the end of the course they trusted their ability and after a few weeks when they arrived at the start of each course day they were eager to get on with their projects.

From my point of view it was strange being in this position. I had just started working with Tir Coed when only a few months earlier I would have been classed as a NEET and could have been one of the participants on this course.  I believe that gave me a unique insight into the situation. I could see the course both from the perspective of a participant and a member of staff – in both cases though I thought the course was run well and had a positive impact on participants.

This course gave me an insight into how courses are constructed, managed and ultimately translate from paper into reality. It also showed the importance of accreditation as much more than a test of knowledge but as a progression route to potential employment (or further skills development). This experience will prove to be very useful when developing a future horticulture project.