Royal Parks opens apprentice programme for 2010 with focus on 16-18 year olds

The Royal Parks apprenticeship scheme GROW is now open to applicants to start in September.

The 10 apprentices chosen for the 3-year course will receive training at Capel Manor College, and work with the Royal Parks landscape contractors, currently Fountains (now Connaught), Enterprise, Turfsoil and Veolia.

Primarily aimed at school-leavers aged 16 to 18, the next course starts in September and the application deadline is 15 April 2010. Successful applicants will be based in one of The Royal Parks and be paid a salary of £12,000-13,000 to work as an apprentice gardener and to study at Capel Manor College in Regent's Park.

At the end of the 3-year course, apprentices will be awarded with a Royal Horticultural Society Level Two Certificate in Horticulture and a Diploma in Work-based Horticulture.

Royal Parks horticultural landscape development officer Matthew Robinson said: "The Royal Parks' apprenticeship programme is ideal for school-leavers who are keen to pursue a career in horticulture, and it provides an excellent foundation to take up a hands-on role or to progress to a management or supervisory post.  We hope that the opportunity to work in a beautiful environment, that means so much to people who live in or visit London, will inspire many young people to apply."

Apprentices gain experience in the care and management of public and private gardens, sports grounds and green community areas. This involves development and maintenance of lawns and borders, trees, shrubs, hedges, herbaceous plants and bedding displays.

Training involves all aspects of plant maintenance, cultivation and landscape development. Apprentices also learn about pest control through chemical, biological and cultural methods, operation and maintenance of a wide range of machinery, and soil science.


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