Employer groups explain plans for staff development at Green Skills

The Green Skills conference heard from two employer organisations that have recently developed comprehensive training programmes for their staff - but each taking a very different approach.

Tom Salmon, managing director of Hedon Salads, one of the UK's largest independent glasshouse growers employing more than 400 staff, described how a programme developed in partnership with local land-based Bishop Burton College two years ago was helping to transform staff output at the business.

"We had to get staff onside and understand what they needed and what we needed to improve output and increase wages," Salmon explained.

Deciding that the business had a duty of care to help all staff reach their full potential, a programme was introduced for all staff including adult apprenticeships for those with basic skills, and basic skills training for those without. Staff who sign up for the higher-level training are offered a three per cent wage increase over and above what they would normally receive. The firm has also taken on 15 young apprentices.

By tapping into available funds, Salmon said training had cost less than £10 a week for each apprentice. "It's nothing when you consider the benefit to our young people," he added.

But he said young people had been hard to find: "We need the NFU and the HTA to get the message across that as an industry we are sterile," he pointed out.

ISS Landscapes' Phil Jones, meanwhile, described how the contractor decided to take all its skills development in-house in part to address the challenge of training staff from four businesses with "cultural differences" brought together by the firm.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.