SCI group aims to recruit 400

The Society for Chemical Industry (SCI) Horticulture Group has celebrated six months of operation by revealing it plans to recruit 400 more people to its 100-person membership.

Group interim chairman Mike Hall, who has been made an SCI trustee, said he had been helping SCI make science more exciting for young people.

He said: "It's sad that schools' careers services have not picked up horticulture and moved it forward."

He added that now was the time "to make a difference" because food cost rises and food mile issues are making horticulture a hot topic.

MorePeople director Guy Moreton said: "We have a major problem getting people into the industry."

He suggested paying a sales manager £50,000 a year if they bring in £2m of business as opposed to paying £25,000 a year to a sales manager who brings in £1m of business. He also said every horticulture firm should "adopt" its local school to "revolutionise horticulture recruitment". He added: "It's exciting that an organisation as big as SCI is looking at horticulture and how we can explore opportunities to get bigger."

SCI deputy chief executive Jon Poole said the 21 November Horticulture Business Perspectives conference would generate more interest in the group.

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