New BALI committee member pledges to promote apprenticeships as National Apprenticeship Week gets underway

A co-founder of social enterprise Streetscape is hoping to use a new position within BALI to promote apprenticeships with master classes for young landscapers also planned.

Former Streetscape apprentice Richard Cresswell
Former Streetscape apprentice Richard Cresswell

Guy Watts established Streetscape, which offers landscape apprenticeships to young people who are out of work and trains them in the classroom and on real projects, with James Gubb and has now joined the South Thames BALI committee.

Streetscape also works with commercial companies which give its apprentices work experience in their firms.

He said: "I want to promote the apprenticeships we have and apprenticeships in general. It's at quite an early stage but I'd like to set up master classes for young people. Not just apprentices but other young people as well."

Watts is calling for landscape companies who are interested in taking part to contact him.

He also wants to hear from companies who would like advice on taking on an apprentice.

He added: "The skills gap is the talk of the land. I find a lot of people talk but not a lot jump on board and I can't see why.

"BALI is very supportive. We are also working with Scottscape, Mears, Pinnacle and The Garden Builders. Some companies are really good at apprenticeships but when you're a small company it's a challenging thing to take on and quite a commitment, many people are nervous about it."

One of Streetscape's former apprentices, Richard Cresswell, was shortlisted in The Green-tech Apprentice of the Year 2013 competition,  run in association with Horticulture Week.

This week has been named National Apprenticeship Week and the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is planning a series of events and promotional activities. It also offers advice on taking on an apprentice. Visit

The service is asking apprentices or their employers to upload pictures or short videos of apprentices and their work to Twitter using the hashtag #Madebyapprentices.

The picture which is re-tweeted the most on the social media site, will become the NAS’s picture of the week and will get free promotion.

The pictures are also uploaded on the 10 Downing Street Pinterest account.

Myerscough College, using the ‏@My_Apprentice account, is one of the organisations getting involved, tweeting pictures of apprentice groundsman at Birmingham City Football Club Jack Keenan, apprentice landscape gardener Alex Ward and sportsturf apprentice Jamie Hardy at Brough Golf Club.

The NAS uses the Twitter handle @apprenticeships and is also using #NAW2014 throughout the week.

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