Garden centre apprentice hailed as great example of how apprenticeships can develop careers

Sam Larke, 17, from Norwich is getting hands-on experience through his Level 2 EDGE Apprenticeship in Production Horticulture at Beeston Garden Centre.

Sam Larke
Sam Larke

Anglia Farmers runs 50 apprenticeships in all areas of agriculture and has hailed Larke as a good example of how apprenticeships can develop careers.

He has been working at the garden centre for four weeks and has been attending Easton & Otley College one day per week for the classroom based learning for his apprenticeship.

Christmas trees have become his responsibility.

He said: "There’s no better experience than being hands-on, you can’t learn customer service in a classroom, this is why I chose to study for an apprenticeship because you get the experience and the qualification."

Manager Sandra Scrivener said: "His customer service is brilliant, he is a polite and helpful, an asset to the company, he has already learnt to pot plants and is beginning to learn the names of the varieties we stock."

She added: "We felt like an apprentice was the right way to go, Sam can grow with the company, learning along the way".

The garden centre is a growing business, with new polytunnels being built in January.

Larke added: "Since I’ve been here, I’ve been potting plants, at the moment I look after the Christmas trees, I also collect the greenery for the wreaths and generally maintain the garden centre, there’s lots to do" said Sam.

Scrivener added: "Sam will learn everything on site, we have a lot to teach him, as we’re a small company we can take the time to teach him everything we know, it will be really beneficial to him, he will learn everything from growing plants from seed all the way up".

Larke was at Sewell Park College in Norwich. He said: "It’s great being able to earn while you’re learning and learning through practical experience works really well for me. I’m really enjoying the work, it’s never boring and it’s a really relaxed environment."


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