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Horticulture apprentices kick start their career

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Horticulture apprentices kick start their career


Published by rtownsend for Sanctuary Housing Association in Education and also in Communities

Horticulture apprentices with representatives from Sanctuary Maintenance and Pershore College Horticulture apprentices with representatives from Sanctuary Maintenance and Pershore College

A group of budding young gardeners are sowing the seeds to a brighter future after kick-starting a horticulture apprenticeship programme with Sanctuary Maintenance.

Part of leading housing and care provider Sanctuary Group, Sanctuary Maintenance has recruited 14 new apprentices who will be getting their hands dirty in a range of projects to develop their knowledge and skills in the horticulture industry.

The specialist block-release course, delivered in partnership with Pershore College, includes training in the key components of Horticulture in the context of parks, gardens and green spaces and will lead to a formal qualification in Horticulture at NVQ Level 2.

Working out in the field with Sanctuary’s Estate Services team, the apprentices will gain valuable job skills by assisting with various aspects of groundwork maintenance including maintaining flowerbeds, shrubs and lawn areas through to health and safety and using gardening equipment correctly.

Whilst attending one week training blocks every three months at Pershore College, part of Warwickshire College, the apprentices will also be using a new ‘Smart Assessor’ mobile and web app, which will enable them to make a portfolio of evidence for their assessment work as part of the programme.

Ahead of their apprenticeships, the group, who will be working in different regions around the UK, met in Pershore with representatives from both Sanctuary and the college to hear about what they will be doing over the 20-month programme. 

Andrew Pilsbury, national estates services manager at Sanctuary Maintenance, said: “Apprenticeships are such an exciting way for young people to learn the skills of the industry. Our previous apprentices brought a lot to the table and many are now working in permanent positions with the company. 

“All of our teams are looking forward to working with the new group as they take their first step onto the career ladder.” 

Helen Dickson, employer engagement manager for horticulture at Pershore College, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Sanctuary’s horticulture apprentices from across England to Pershore College for their training block. 

“As the third group of students from Sanctuary, it is clear that the partnership is proving very successful for developing well-trained, high quality, motivated and skilled young workers who will help support the future of the industry." 

A Top 100 Apprentice Employer, Sanctuary Group operates a UK-wide apprenticeship scheme which helps provide support to a variety of different business operations. The Group is one of the country’s leading providers of apprenticeships and currently employs around 330 apprentices.

Successful candidates take part in specifically designed programmes, providing them with the opportunity to study for practical qualifications, gain on-the-job experience and a strong grounding in a particular aspect of the business, whilst improving their confidence and self-esteem. 

In addition to horticulture apprenticeships, programmes are currently up and running in several business areas including finance, IT, business administration, health and social care, housing, HR, maintenance and hospitality and catering.

For more information on the apprenticeship opportunities available at Sanctuary visit


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