Johnsons of Whixley launches bespoke training scheme to develop talent

Amenity nursery Johnsons of Whixley is tackling the skills crisis head on by investing in a training programme for home-grown talent, which it has called Growing Stars.

Image: Johnsons of Whixley
Image: Johnsons of Whixley

The programme will to develop the skillset of existing staff members, with a view to them one day taking on a more senior role with the business.

The new initiative will help to underpin the continued growth of the 96-year-old family business, one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe.

The Growing Stars programme is open to staff from all parts of the business and includes training experiences, technical modules, horticultural sessions, operational nursery activities, as well as the opportunity to earn a formal qualification in Team Leading.

The programme is being delivered in conjunction with training providers Dutton Fisher and includes a mixture of on-site training and external activities, including learning from the company’s supply and technology partners.

The first class of Growing Stars are now in training. The training consists of 60 hours of formal management training, six off-site visits, plus in-house mentoring.
Those enrolled are expected to complete the course in August.
Production manager Ian Nelson said: "We believe that the future of Johnsons of Whixley will be dependent upon the abilities of those working in the company. 
"Geographically the business is isolated from the main hubs of horticultural activity, and we are aware that there is not an education process that fits well with Johnsons’ needs as a business.
"So we have a responsibility to plan ahead and look to enhance the skills of the next generation of supervisors and managers.
"We are confident that within our own pool of employees, there is the talent to lead us towards the future."

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