The successful applicants will work for a Royal Parks’ contractor in one of London’s eight Royal Parks four days a week, and study at Capel Manor College in The Regent’s Park on the remaining day.
Current contract holders are:
- OCS (St James’s Park and Green, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens)
- Idverde (The Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill)
- Gavin Jones (Richmond, Greenwich and Bushy Parks)
The scheme typically lasts three years, and apprentices study for the Horticulture Landscape Operative Standard, which includes modules such as plant identification and soil science. In their final year, they can study for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Level 2 Certificates in Horticulture.
As part of their studies, apprentices will also learn about propagation and growing in the new Hyde Park Nursery, which grows more than 450,000 plants for all eight Royal Parks.
Head of park services at The Royal Parks Dennis Clarke said: "This is a unique opportunity to work in world-class parks. Collectively, our parks receive 77 million visits a year – making them among the most visited attractions in the UK - and we have our gardeners and apprentices to thank for helping make people’s visits enjoyable and memorable.
The Royal Parks has run an apprenticeship scheme since the 1960s which has launched many careers in horticulture. Applicants need to be over 16 and there is no upper age limit.