Morris urges horticulture apprenticeship collaboration

IoH president Leigh Morris has urged horticulture companies to get together to create new apprenticeships.

Speaking at a symposium to mark 20 years of the London Parks and Gardens Trust at Regent’s University, London on 12 June, he said it was crucial for the industry to work together.

The Government is changing apprenticeships from September this year with the aim of stopping all existing types from 2017. It wants a streamlined employer-led system and is calling on employers to tell it what they want from apprenticeships.

Sector skills councils like Lantra are not allowed to lead development of new apprenticeships but Winn has been co-ordinating an employer response.

Speaking after the symposium Morris said: "I totally applaud David Winn, there needs to be someone, Lantra or the IOH that says ‘who do we want around the table?’. You’ll never get everyone, it would be like herding cats but there has to be enough there to represent the industry.

"Horticulture needs one group for training and education, for things like this. In this country horticulture isn’t as sharp in working together as in Holland. What horticulture doesn't want to do is have five groups all coming up with different things. We just need to work together."

In his speech Morris also spoke about the skills gap in horticulture and promoted the Grow Careers website. He said it was a shame that he rarely heard people outside of botanical gardens saying that they were proud to be a horticulturist and said there was very little competition for top jobs.


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