Apprentices show skills at event

The “future directors of the parks sector” showed off their skills during National Apprenticeship Week last month.

Apprentices from Haringey Council and Groundwork East London visited the Olympic Park site at Lower Lee Valley in east London for a joint Lantra and Olympic Development Authority event. Capel Manor College chief executive Steve Dowbiggin hailed Joanna McGavin and Luke Kyriakides, apprentices for Haringey Council who attend day-release classes at Capel Manor, as “bright young people, whom we are lucky to have coming into the industry”. He added: “It’s important to stress that apprentices’ status will not remain at low level — both these two, for example, have the potential to be future directors of parks.” Head of parks at Haringey Council Don Lawson commented: “We need to bring on the next generation of gardeners, otherwise we’ll be hit hard when so many of our long-serving staff retire. Within our directorate we have the highest ageing workforce.” Lawson stated that apprentices are vital and should not be used just to fill job vacancies: “These are skilled jobs. Gardening should be highly regarded as an occupation, and growing good gardeners through apprenticeships recognises this. Amenity and horticulture needs investment, both in the people and the places they look after.” A team from Groundwork East London also attended to illustrate the organisation’s apprentice scheme, which encourages people back into employment.

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