The publication earlier this month of Horticulture Matters by industry partners including the RHS, Institute of Horticulture, Grow Careers and Lantra highlights how difficult it still is getting across to young people, parents, teachers and careers officers that a job in horticulture is "not a dumbed-down job for children with low academic horizons", president of the IoH, Leigh Morris has said.
In a statement following the report’s publication he added: "I am delighted that the Institute is going to adopt the Grow Careers initiative as one of its Standing Committees.
"I have Chaired Grow Careers since it was set up in 2006 and I have always believed that it should sit within the Institute. It gives us a strong focus that can be adopted right across our regions and I can’t think of any more appropriate organisation to be leading on the promotion of horticultural careers.
Morris also said he believes attaining chartership will boost the perception of horticulture outside the industry.
"I am personally of the firm belief that the Institute will get Royal Chartership in 2013. This will give us a tremendous opportunity to change global perception of horticulture, raise the Institute of horticulture’s profile, impact and membership," he said.
Horticulture Matters, a report published by industry partners including the RHS, IOH, Grow Careers and Lantra, revealed an alarming shortage of skilled professionals in the sector:
Its survey of employers found:
- 90% say horticulture lacks career appeal
- 83% blame poor perception of horticulture in schools and colleges
- 72% cannot fill skilled vacancies
- 67% say career entrants are inadequately prepared for work
- 19% are forced to recruit overseas
- 93% demand government action
The statement from the IoH said the institute and Grow Careers will remain active in the timetable for change by improving the perception of horticulture, pressing for horticulture in the National Curriculum, supporting horticulture in further and higher education and safeguarding horticulture.