Wiltshire College & University Centre congratulates its latest cohort of RHS Certificate in Practical Horticulture students on securing employment in the industry following the completion of their course.
Six students were successful in securing jobs, placements or self-employed opportunities after finishing the Level 2 course and are now pursuing their passion for horticulture and gardening as a career.
Tracey Hancock enrolled on the course as part of a mid-life career change, hoping to move from a desk-based PA job to a role in horticulture. Before the end of her course, Tracey was offered a work placement with a small team on a large private garden near Bath.
The College was approached by the housekeeper, who had studied the same RHS course a few years previously and undertook a work placement at Hidcote Manor Garden in Gloucestershire. Having experienced the value and benefit of work experience, particularly for career-change gardeners, they offered Tracey a placement and she started as soon as she finished the course.
Tracey said: “A gardener is responsible for mowing, strimming and hedge cutting, so the work will be mostly weeding, pruning fruit trees and roses, planting and keeping the topiary looking tidy.”
Discussing the course, she added: “I think the teaching level was spot on - just the right mix of academic and practical - and our lecturers, Helen and Chris, were hugely encouraging and supportive. They went out of their way to create a very open and inclusive atmosphere that enabled us all to ask questions at all levels - a very special skill.”
Since enrolling on the RHS course at the College, Lee Miller set up his own business, Mr Miller's Plants & Design Services.
Lee explained: “The course has given me more of a grounding in horticulture, especially documentation and practical tasks. The College showing me best practice face-to-face has improved production methods for my garden nursery, to which I'm currently propagating Delphiniums and selling on.”
Another student, Helen Ganberg, was offered work four days a week at Quest Garden Management as a Trainee Assistant Gardener and Soft Landscaper.
Helen said: “I will be helping to maintain and plant gardens across Wiltshire and Berkshire. The job role came through the College – thank you!”
Course lecturer Helen Roberts commented: "We are extremely pleased that Wiltshire College and University Centre was able to help secure employment for a number of students this year and further their careers in this extremely diverse and rewarding sector.
“Many horticultural employers contact the College when looking to recruit and it is always gratifying when students can start work immediately after completing their course."
The RHS Certificate in Practical Horticulture is an 18-week course running one day per week at the College’s Lackham campus, which sits in over 1600 acres of Wiltshire landscape.
Situated in a bend of the River Avon, the estate covers farmland, woodlands and wetlands, sports pitches and curated lawns outside the Grade II Listed Lackham House. Along with specialist facilities including a range of horticultural machinery and workshops, the campus boasts several glasshouses and a Zoological Garden.
This incredible variety of resources makes Lackham the ideal place for building professional horticultural qualifications, offering students a firm foundation for work in the horticulture sector, or simply increasing their skills as a gardener.
If you are interested in this course, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.