As Apprenticeship Week (6-12 February) approaches, Rachael Forsyth talks to two landscape maintenance apprentices who work for idverde in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the Horticulture Week Podcast.
Adam James is extra works team leader' and Mark Skinner, South park team leader as part of idverde's apprentice program. [Both have worked for idverde for a number of years but due to other commitments did not complete the apprenticeship at the start of employment with idverde.
They talk about what inspired them to join the industry, the role family and volunteering have played in leading to a career in landscaping, the kind of work they do now and where they see their futures.
"About 2011 I got more interested in wildlife, caring for wildlife. That passion develops. Once that seed's sown there's no stopping it. It doesn't ask for permission!". Adam says.
With the skills crisis showing now signs of abating, they discuss barriers to entering the industry, including pay, battling the elements, but also the effects of the pandemic on many young people.
But both Mark and Adam are vehement that young people with a passion for the outdoors, nature and plants should give the industry a chance. Marks says:
"My advice is start where you can get in and go for it - you won't look back".
Presenter: HortWeek senior reporter Rachael Forsyth
Producer: HortWeek digital content manager Christina Taylor
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