Horticulture Apprenticeships are nothing new, but they have changed quite a bit over the last few decades. There was a time where it was difficult to get an opportunity to become an apprentice mainly because of the sheer number of people who were queuing for the same thing.
Today, we have more professions, skills and opportunities than ever before and Horticulture Apprenticeships remain an integral avenue for people to pursue a career they have a strong and even passionate interest in. Good people are hard to come by, but they can be found.
Alpine Nurseries recently welcomed three Horticulture apprentices, Edmund, Tahnee and David.
Being able to support people regardless of age or previous professional background, to pursue study and a vocation that they have a strong interest in is important for a number of reasons.
“I am at a stage in my life where I have the opportunity to learn from those who are more knowledgeable and experienced, pick up a new skill and be active outdoors. I want to make the most of it”. David Li – Horticulturist Apprentice, Alpine Nurseries
Varied skills and experiences
Edmund, Tahnee and David have varied backgrounds and experience. One a high school English teacher with a Masters Degree, another was studying to become a teacher and another was in retail for almost a decade. Recruiting mature age apprentices is a good strategy. They bring their own set of skills and experiences and have made sacrifices in order to pursue their interests to develop their career in Horticulture.
Creating a funnel for knowledge and experience
Knowledge and expertise comes with experience and time. Depth of knowledge comes from learning from others, from relevant studies and hands on learning situations where you are able to directly see, hear and feel outcomes. To share and discuss these outcomes and indeed challenges, with people who have been there. It’s a kind of ‘pay it forward’. We learn from others. However in order to learn from others we need a process to build up and educate our ‘rookies’. David comments “I am at a stage in my life where I have the opportunity to learn from those who are more knowledgeable and experienced, pick up new skills, a career and be active outdoors. I want to make the most of it”.
Build a foundation for the future
Anything that is structurally sound starts with a solid foundation. Horticulture Apprenticeships and general recruitment of good, experienced people pave the way towards a strong future. Having experienced people in the right jobs to support our business and our customers is crucial to limiting potential skill shortages and assists with staff retention. It’s not just good enough to deliver good service through knowledge and expertise; it has to be consistent and reliable.
Here at Alpine we have numerous staff with decades of experience, even in this issue of The Alpine Collective having profiled Julie Jarman, Julie has 32 years industry experience, 13 with us at Alpine, 14 years for Production Manager Ben Habershon and 23 years for Gavin Bodilly our Trademart Manager.
Giving apprentices the opportunity to work alongside Horticulturalists like these guys and indeed all our experienced staff across the business allows Alpine to set a high benchmark while setting the path to a formidable future.