The money will come from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme, HTA training and careers manager Tanya Robinson told the green skills initiative seminar last week.
She said it will be used to create new grower qualifications, following in-depth research into the skills needs of the sector's employers.
The funding is the outcome of a KTP proposal submitted by the University of Reading in partnership with the HTA. The Horticultural Development Company contributed funding to ensure that students are exposed to the advantages of up-to-date techniques and research.
The KTP project will enable the employment of a graduate to invest two years researching and developing the best solutions for training and qualifications within the sector.
Take up of existing qualifications has been hampered by their failure to meet ornamental growers' needs, the University of Reading's Martin Emmett told the meeting.