School opens centre for horticultural skills

The drive to recruit more young people into horticulture is gaining ground at a college that this week opened a centre dedicated to providing training in the profession.

Around 50 students at Rivington & Blackrod High School in Horwich, Bolton, have enrolled on the City & Guilds Level 1 certificate in horticultural skills at the centre.

The 14- to 16-year-olds spend two days each week learning horticulture and landscaping skills during the two-year course at the school's Power Wave Centre.

Deputy head teacher and Power Wave Centre director David Waugh said learning horticultural skills provided a huge benefit.

He said: "Horticulture and landscape gardening balance sustainable development and building communities, as well as giving the pupils experience and helping with their personal growth. A lot of them will go down that career path."

The centre was officially opened on Tuesday (29 January) and is the second vocational hub to be opened by the school, the first being focused on construction training.

Students gain practical skills in grounds around the Power Wave Centre, as well as at a local farm.

"We're getting a very positive response and everything's going very well," added Waugh.

"We're still in the dark months for horticulture; it's not the easiest thing to deliver at this time of year so we're concentrating at the moment on a lot of online research and learning."

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