Green skills must tempt students

Marketing strategy unveiled to solve horticultural skills crisis

A marketing strategy is vital if new recruits are to be brought into the horticulture industry, the Green Skills Seminar heard last week. Funds are to be drawn from across the industry to finance an initiative, with many already pledging their support and more still needed. Business development director Josh Hardie of Ed Coms, which develops communication campaigns, gave the seminar a rough strategy for how the industry could harness young talent. He said green skills would benefit from a campaign, which would engage, inform and enable the next generation of horticulturists. Hardie said: “For the first time, there’s a cross-section desire to do something about this skills crisis.” The campaign will build sector awareness and offer advice and support from an early age, before providing further information about career opportunities once an interest was gained. RHS director-general Andrew Colquhoun said 10 groups had pledged £5,000 each to the scheme, but they needed at least that many again. Southern Water is to apply to the Government for permission to extend its ban on the use of water to cover the irrigation of parks and sports fields.

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