Nursery takes new tack to fill industry skills gap

Hortus Loci co-owner Mark Straver has advocated employing young staff and using the skills of part-time female workers to fill the industry skills gap.

Chelsea plant managers: helping with sales and service
Chelsea plant managers: helping with sales and service

The Hampshire-based nursery has three RHS Chelsea Flower Show plant managers who are all under 30, who Straver said are helping sales and service in the high-profile department - general manager Michael Buck, YoungHort alumni Jamie Butterworth and Spaniard Pedro Mayor.

Straver said joint show plant manager Mayer, for instance, has "an incredible sensitivity and innate feeling for plants that is very rare in young people in the industry".

The department makes up 15-20 per cent of turnover at the four-year-old company, which has some 25 staff.

"One of the biggest difficulties with a new business is putting a team together where everyone will work well with each other and slot into the right place," said Straver. Suitable staff who love plants are "difficult to find", he added.

He said one problem with horticulture is that it is seasonal work and not everyone is going to be able to be kept on all year. Employing women with children part-time works for both parties, he added, and many are over qualified.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Dwarf Narcissus

Dwarf Narcissus

These well-loved flowers can help to sustain passion for growing that built up during lockdown, Sally Drury suggests.

Calluna vulgaris

Calluna vulgaris

These plants survive severe exposure and make good ground cover in cityscapes to wildlife gardens, writes Sally Drury.

Colchicum

Colchicum

These autumn wonders produce colourful flowers that make for a sensational display, says Sally Drury.


Big opportunities ready to be seized

Big opportunities ready to be seized

There can be no dispute about the huge number of people new and returned to gardening as a result of the lockdown.

Diary of a Nursery Woman: Ruth Goudy - Kiln Farm Nursery, Kesgrave, Ipswich, Suffolk

Diary of a Nursery Woman: Ruth Goudy - Kiln Farm Nursery, Kesgrave, Ipswich, Suffolk

Editorial...The horticulture industry's top five areas of concern

Editorial...The horticulture industry's top five areas of concern

Having been Horticulture Week editor for more than six months, I’ve got a good idea what horticulturist’s main gripes are.


SPIRIT OF FOUR OAKS 2020

 

Go to Spirit of Four Oaks page

 

Horticulture Week

The latest developments concerning coronavirus for horticulture industry professionals involved in buying or selling garden products and plants or producing and participating in horticultural shows and events.
Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING  of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover  plus the  FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles