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The Royal Horticultural Society: Looking back on 2020 and ahead to 2021

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In January 2020, we invited Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education staff to RHS Garden Wisley to photograph and film our Level 2 Horticulture/Landscape operative apprentices while they pruned apple trees in the Orchard. While it was a cold, wet and drizzly day, spirits were high in preparation for National Apprenticeship Week. While being filmed, they reminisced on what apprenticeships meant to them, and laughed and joked in between takes! It was a great start to the year seeing our apprentices and staff taking part in the campaign to positively promote our apprenticeship programme to future applicants.

Soon after that event, life as we know it then changed because of COVID-19. Our world, along with The World, was turned upside down.

For our apprentices, all college and garden teaching practices moved online, while other work-based practices continued the best that they could in line with government restrictions. Of course, some activities were inevitably postponed. We worked extremely closely with our college partners to support our apprentices and enable them to complete their courses: and they did, with a 100% success rate. End-point assessment practical demonstrations and professional discussions took place in the workplace but were assessed remotely, which was new for all of us.

Our apprentices graduated on the 27 August 2020. It was a momentous day and achievement for them (and us) amid a challenging year.

As a result of this past year, the RHS School of Horticulture has entered 2021 with new knowledge, skills and experiences through reimagining and adapting the delivery of our programmes. While we, like all, hope for a life without COVID-19, we look forward to continuing to deliver apprenticeships to each of our new and existing learners in order to provide them with the opportunity to take their first step on the career ladder in order to make their mark on the horticultural industry.

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Last year we had a record-breaking number of applicants apply for our Level 2 Horticulture/Landscape operative apprenticeship programme, which was available at four of our five RHS Gardens: Harlow Carr, Rosemoor, Hyde Hall and Wisley. This year we are delighted to confirm that the programme is available at all five of our RHS Gardens (including Bridgewater).

If you are interested in the world of horticulture and would like to join us at the RHS, then do apply for an apprenticeship based at one of our five Gardens starting in August 2021.

We have the following vacancies available: Level 2 Horticulture/Landscape Operative (all RHS Gardens), Level 2 Arborist (Bridgewater only), Level 3 Horticulture/Landscape Supervisor (Rosemoor only). Applications are open until the 1 March 2021. 

Full information on the vacancies and details on how to apply can be found on the RHS website.

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