This week is National Gardening Week, so naturally I was eager to speak to an apprentice undertaking a horticultural apprenticeship. The Royal Horticultural Society kindly introduced me to Toni to tell me why a gardening apprenticeship was for her...
Q:Why did you choose an apprenticeship? A:
I wanted the opportunity to gain a horticultural qualification while working. Being based in such a diverse garden has really helped me to explore some of the topics that I’ve learned about at college.
Q:What attracted you to a gardening apprenticeship?
I always had a really strong interest in science but wanted to do something creative too. When I saw that the RHS offered an apprenticeship it seemed to have the perfect balance between these two interests. I have the chance to learn about horticulture and science while at college but also get the opportunity to contribute to the ever-evolving gardens here at Wisley.
Q:What kind of things have you learnt about during your apprenticeship? A:
I’ve learnt many new horticultural skills and have really gained confidence in my work over the past two years. I think being influenced by so many passionate horticulturalists from within the industry has been really inspiring.
Q:What do you find the most interesting part of your job? A:
I love seeing the garden develop and change throughout the season, each day has something new and interesting to see. I really enjoyed working on the planting of the new exotic garden and seeing it develop over its first year. It’s an area that I look forward to visiting for years to come.
“I have the chance to learn about horticulture and science while at college but also get the opportunity to contribute to the ever-evolving gardens here at Wisley.”
“I love seeing the garden develop and change throughout the season, each day has something new and interesting to see.”
Q:What’s the best part about a being a gardening apprentice? A:
The best part of the apprenticeship for me is being able to work in such a beautiful garden. I love being outdoors surrounded by nature.
Q:What kind of opportunities has working with RHS given you? A:
Over the two years of the apprenticeship I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Houses of Parliament for a horticultural event, work at Chelsea Flower Show, work with local schools, I’ve been able to contribute to the many new projects happening in the garden and so much more. These opportunities have really opened my eyes to how diverse horticulture is as an industry.
Q:What are your plans for the future? A:
I recently applied to work in the new Welcome and Riverside team here at Wisley and I am delighted to have been offered the job. I’m really excited to be working in a new and evolving area of the garden once I’ve completed my apprenticeship.
Q:What’s your advice to other people thinking about taking an apprenticeship? A:
I think an apprenticeship is a great way to break into a new industry. You have the opportunity to work within the industry while you study, gaining practical experience and a formal qualification. It also allows you to explore the industry, making new contacts along the way. I personally have gained so much more than simple a qualification and would strongly encourage others to consider an apprenticeship.
For more information, please visit: www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/qualifications-and-training