Apprenticeships crucial to industry, says Lantra

A decline in the number of apprentices entering the landscape industry could see the UK's green spaces turn a shade of brown if swift action is not taken, sector skills council Lantra has warned.

Advocating apprenticeships: Moore (left) and Hopkins at Olympics site. Credit: Ilpo Musto
Advocating apprenticeships: Moore (left) and Hopkins at Olympics site. Credit: Ilpo Musto

Lantra national director for England Madge Moore said: "The landscaping industry has recently been buoyed by large-scale development projects like the London 2012 Olympic Park. However, despite an encouraging upturn in apprenticeships over the past three years, there simply aren't enough and the precious skills that these individuals possess are in short supply."

To celebrate Apprentice Week on 25-29 February, last Thursday representatives and apprentices from Lantra, the Olympic Development Authority (ODA), Groundwork East London, Haringey Council and Capel Manor came together at the Olympics site in east London.

ODA head of parklands and public realm John Hopkins said: "We want the Games to leave a real employment and skills legacy, so are working with Lantra, the London Development Agency and other organisations to encourage more people to take up apprenticeships and develop the landscape skills we'll need during construction and to maintain the Olympic legacy."

ODA representative Ben Hurley said the organisation aimed to employ 2,000 apprentices across the site from now until 2013.

Hopkins added that contractors were being asked to include details of training schemes and places for apprentices as part of their bids.

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