Homebase takes on 40 students

Forty new students from around the UK have beaten nearly 5,000 applicants to secure a place on the Homebase Garden Academy, offering them a chance to start a career in gardening.

Homebase Garden Academy students - image: Homebase

The 40 students will undergo a 12-month programme, now in its third year, to develop their gardening skills and knowledge. They also get an opportunity to work alongside garden designer Adam Frost.

Frost will teach the students about garden planning and design; working with top garden suppliers to develop detailed product knowledge covering planting and landscaping; and learning practical horticultural skills to earn them an RHS Level 1 Award qualification.

All the students will also be working full-time at their local Homebase store.

Gareth Evans, 22 who will be based at Homebase Birmingham Sutton Coldfield store said: "I’m thrilled to have secured a place on the Garden Academy programme. I’ve always loved gardening, so to be given the opportunity to turn my passion into a career is great, I can’t wait to get started."

Frost said: "This is the third year we have run the Garden Academy training programme, and I’m delighted to be involved again.

"It can be challenging for our industry to attract young people to gardening and show them that it can be an exciting career. By working with Homebase, we have the opportunity to do something special and inspire a new generation of gardeners."

Jonathon Kemp, head of garden and DIY at Homebase said: "As one of the UK’s leading garden retailers, we are committed to championing horticulture as a great career choice."

"The academy is a fantastic opportunity for people from different backgrounds and ages to come together to share their passion for gardening and the outdoors and develop it into a great career. We are excited to welcome our third intake of Garden Academy students, to what we know will be a great start to their careers."

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