Published on 28 - February - 2012
Garden Centre Group welcomes apprenticesAn apprenticeship scheme which the Garden Centre Group is calling "the first of its kind for the horticultural industry," is being rolled out across the group's centres and production nurseries.
Aimed at people aged 16 and over, the apprenticeship is being delivered in conjunction with Pershore College of Horticulture in Worcestershire.
The Garden Centre Group's head of training Tom Martell said: "The scheme is the first of its kind ... and is a great opportunity for people to gain employment, particularly during the current economic climate.
"The apprenticeship will combine a blended learning approach with full integration into the Garden Centre Group. Knowledge-based learning will be accessed online, while college-based classes, which will take place at selected horticultural colleges across the country, will develop the apprentices' practical skills. These will then be put into practice in the workplace."
All apprentices who successfully complete the programme will receive a work-based Diploma in Horticulture in their specialist area, which will be 'Horticulture - Garden Centre' or 'Horticulture - Nursery Production'.
The 12-month programme includes an apprenticeship wage, which is dependent on age. A 'celebration bonus' of £500 will also be paid to those who complete the scheme.
After 12 months, higher level apprenticeships, linked to the management development strategy of the group, will be available to successful candidates, subject to application.
Mr Martell added: "There are excellent career benefits for people who do an apprenticeship as they can combine the experience of working with gaining qualifications. Apprentices learn on the job, building up knowledge and skills, gaining qualifications and earning money all at the same time."
The group is looking for individuals who have an interest in horticulture and have the following core values: courtesy and dedication to customer service, leadership, commercial thinking, team spirit, the ability to work with others, commitment and flexibility.
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