Bicton and Duchy colleges launch horticulture and landscaping apprenticeship to develop specialist skills for the industry

A new horticulture and landscaping operative apprenticeship has been launched to boost core and specialist skills and secure the future of the horticulture industry.

Ben Ruscombe-King, head gardener at Hotel Endsleigh, Tavistock - image: Bicton and Duchy Colleges

The new standard Horticulture Landscaping Operative apprenticeship delivered by Bicton College and Duchy College aims to help promote vital specialist skills.

Business development manager for the rural sector at CCB Training, Sarah Hernandez said: "With skills shortages within the horticulture and landscaping industries at regional and national levels, there has never been a better time to ensure apprentices have the right skills to meet your business needs."

Ben Ruscombe-King, head gardener at Hotel Endsleigh, Tavistock said watching the company’s first apprentice "develop into a knowledgeable and valued member of the team has encouraged us to take on a new apprentice".

"Having someone trained in the workplace means you have someone who fully understands the peculiarities of this particular garden," he added.

"Whether you work in public parks and gardens, green spaces, historic gardens, private gardens and estates or in nurseries and retail outlets."

The Horticulture Landscaping Operative apprenticeship has been developed to deliver core skills and knowledge, plus it offers the flexibility to choose a pathway into horticulture or landscaping construction, whichever suits your business, according to Sarah.

"Apprenticeships are a great way to develop your staff and grow your business," she explained.

"If you are interested in taking on an apprentice there is funding available plus a £1,000 incentive when you employ a 16-18 year old apprentice."

The horticulture and landscaping industry contributes approximately £24.2 billion to the UK’s economy and also plays an important role in our society through enhancing healthy lives and communities.

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