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Completing a Land Reform Apprenticeship

Bruce Morrison

Around this time last year, I wrote a blog reflecting on my first year as a modern apprentice at the Scottish Land Commission. As I near the completion of my apprenticeship, it’s worth reflecting on what’s changed in another year at the Commission.

A modern apprenticeship involves both earning and learning. It is full-time employment, whilst working towards a qualification – in my case, this is a diploma in Project Management. In my second year as an apprentice, I have used more of the skills learned through the diploma to support the Commission’s work. This has involved giving advice to colleagues on project management processes, and offering direct project support on land governance work, which is focused on creative ways to improve how decisions related to land are made. There are a lot of themes within this work, from examining the possibilities of civic crofting, to looking at how other countries approach governance, and project management skills and tools have really helped to keep everything coordinated.

In my second year, I have also become more knowledgeable in land reform and wider land-related issues. This has meant taking on more responsibilities across the Commission. Supporting the work of the Tenant Farming Commissioner in particular has allowed me to learn more about issues facing the tenanted sector, whilst playing a role in supporting tenant farmers and land owners. Providing administrative support to the Tenant Farming Advisory Forum has been most interesting, as I have gained insight into the advice those in the sector have provided to the Tenant Farming Commissioner and Scottish Government, including on agricultural tenure reforms. It has been rewarding to help play a convening role, bringing those across the sector together for productive and insightful discussion. Moreover, as a young person from an urban background, it has been a unique opportunity to learn about the rural and agricultural sectors.

As my apprenticeship nears its end, I feel equipped with the skills and experience to pursue roles in project management and the public sector. It has been fantastic to be part of a team with the mission of land reform, and I look forward to finding a future career in a role with a similar focus on making  positive change and bringing people together.

If you are in a position where you are looking to learn new skills or start a career, I would encourage you to consider an apprenticeship. Modern, foundation, and graduate apprenticeships provide different opportunities for those at different stages. Visit to find out more.