A total of 44 local authorities will invite budding horticulturists of all ages to apply for a traineeship scheme that will offer them the opportunity to improve their green skills.
There will be 61 apprentices recruited across the country.
Margaret Beckett announced the new funding in a speech to leading experts in the green-space sector as well as planners, developers and health officials at the CABE and Natural England ParkCity conference in London.
"These new apprentices will be green ambassadors in their communities, taking responsibility for our parks and open spaces and making sure they are of the highest quality for everyone to enjoy," she said.
"Green spaces and green infrastructure should not be an added luxury. If we really are to tackle climate change, protect both our environment and our health, green spaces need to be at the heart of our communities.
"We will work closely with planners, developers and experts in the green sector to ensure we have the skills and resources we need to make this happen."