Growing with Hillier programme celebrates completion by its students

Hillier Nurseries has been encouraging young people into the horticulture industry with the Growing with Hillier award scheme.

The scheme, introduced in December 2008, is a six-week programme that gives students from local schools first-hand experience of a commercial business and begins to teach them basic horticultural skills such as plant identification, potting, caring for crops, pest and disease identification and much more.

At the beginning of the week the eight course students receive a workbook that guides them through the theory and practical skills of production horticulture, along with a Growing with Hillier t-shirt.

Students who were enrolled on the BTEC Land and Environment course at Mountbatten School, Romsey, were able to complete two of the three modules within the programme.

Nursery worker Julia Parker said: "I was amazed by their weekly progress and achievements and how keen they were to learn."

All students, on completion of the programme, which is one day a week for six weeks, attended a presentation with their families.

During this event they were given a complete tour of the nursery and presented with their certificates by Hillier managing director Andy McIndoe and section leader and nursery labour coordinator Emma Fell.

Hillier will repeat the programme this autumn. The firm has employed students since the 1940s, providing a range of job opportunities.

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