Game and Wildlife Management (Wales)

Framework status: Current (latest) issue

Framework details

Framework ID: FR03808
Issue number: 2
Issued: 11 March 2016

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Game and Wildlife Management (Wales)
(PDF document 2.67 MB)

Issued by

Contact name: Sandie Absalom
Telephone number: 02476 696996
Please download the framework for email contact information.


The game and wildlife industry involves the management of upland, lowland, woodland and wetland game and wildlife species, including partridge, grouse, pheasant and deer. One of the primary purposes of the game and wildlife industry is to protect habitats and promote biodiversity. The industry also supports tourism and recreation and can provide a source of high quality meat.

Game and wildlife management is a significant industry for the land-based and environmental sector in Wales representing 7% of the businesses and 1% of employment. Many of the people working in the industry are volunteers or employed on a part-time/seasonal basis and when converted to full-time equivalents, this equates to 700 members of staff within Wales.

In the UK today, 480,000 people shoot live quarry and shooters spend £2 billion each year on goods and services.  The game and wildlife industry is worth £1.6 billion to the UK economy.

Gamekeepers manage both upland and lowland areas for the benefit of game (e.g. pheasant, partridge, grouse, duck and deer) both reared (approximately 40 million game birds are released each year) or wild (e.g. grouse). They also control pests and predators.

In total, gamekeepers manage around 7.3 million hectares of countryside in the United Kingdom. They maintain and create woodlands, hedgerows, heather moorland, ponds and wetlands for quarry species and it is acknowledged that these provide habitats and eco-systems for many other kinds of wildlife and help to ensure the biodiversity of the UK countryside.

Many areas which are legally protected for wildlife, such as Sites for Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the game industry work in close co-operation with the Government's conservation agencies - English Nature, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Countryside Council for Wales.

As well as wide, complex and changing legislation, game and wildlife managers are required to adhere to a number of Codes of Practice, ranging from avian and mammalian trapping to good shooting and game rearing practice.

It is therefore vital for entrants into the industry to have the right skills and knowledge required to work within the industry.  There is also an increase in the demand for the upskilling of existing staff, and industry has highlighted some vital skill areas that they feel are going to become increasingly important over the next few years:

  • Business and management skills including those such as game stocking, shoot budgeting and risk assessment, event and people management
  • Technical and job specific, which may include firearms use, predator control methods and legalities, game rearing welfare, deer stalking, game and meat handling and processing.

Therefore, because of the nature of the game and wildlife businesses, work-based learning through Apprenticeships is a good way for those entering the sector to learn the necessary skills and knowledge incorporating those specifically described above by the industry.

The figures for completion are currently relatively low compared with other industries in the sector, but as stated above, the industry now requires highly skilled employees and recognises and values the Apprenticeship as a preferred entry route.

It is expected that take-up of this framework will increase considerably once delivery and course management systems can by fully developed via partnerships between industry bodies, employers and assessment centres.

The framework will also contribute to meeting the skills priorities in Wales by:

  • Providing flexible access to a high quality (Level 2 and Level 3) skills programme for game and wildlife management
  • Incorporating skills to improve the levels of general literacy and numeracy in Wales
  • Using technical and competence qualifications, valued by employers, to help their businesses grow
  • Developing apprentices’ employability skills, making them more attractive to all employers whatever career they choose
  • Providing a career pathway into jobs and training at intermediate and higher levels, to provide the skills that the economy needs to grow.

During the review of this Apprenticeship, Lantra involved the English members of its industry and virtual group such as: British Deer Society, National Gamekeepers' Organisation, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Countryside Alliance, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and a number of independent businesses/sporting estates.

The Game and Wildlife framework at both Level 2 and 3 reflect the job roles within the industries and allow apprentices to take units in Upland/Grouse, Lowland, Deer or Game Rearing depending on the type of business/environment they are working in. The types of jobs available include:

  • Level 2 may include: under-keeper/beat keeper, assistant game and farm worker, under stalker/ghillie, assistant ranger or gun dog handler
  • Level 3 may include: single handed gamekeeper, head keeper, game farm manager or stalker.

Further information on the Game and Wildlife Management industry can be found at

Download framework

Game and Wildlife Management (Wales)
(PDF document 2.67 MB)