The Royal Parks Horticultural Apprenticeship Scheme

Looking for a career in horticulture? Grow your skills with The Royal Parks Horticultural Apprenticeship Scheme.


Overview

The Royal Parks Horticultural Apprenticeship Scheme consists of:

  • On the job training at one of the eight Royal Parks, based in Central and Greater London.
  • Day release to college to study for qualifications that will provide a firm foundation for a career in horticulture.
  • Specialist masterclasses run by experts from The Royal Parks and the Royal Parks Guild.

The length of the scheme will depend on the entry level and qualifications studied, however it will typically be 3 years.

Training

You will be given training in the theory and practice of developing and maintaining high quality public gardens, sports grounds and green communal areas.

We will train you in theoretical and practical horticulture, together with cultivation, design and landscape management. You’ll also learn about pest control and soil science, and be trained to operate a range of machinery.

Classroom learning will be combined with practical experience that will utilise the unique and unrivalled environments across the Royal Parks.

The college and location of day release learning will be confirmed prior to the start of the scheme.

Qualifications

Upon completion of the Scheme you will receive the Royal Parks Certificate of Achievement or The Royal Parks Diploma (dependent on the level you reach). You will also have the opportunity to gain the following qualifications:

  • Either
    • Trailblazer Standard in Horticulture and Landscape (Operative or Supervisor)
  • Or
    • Diploma in Work Based Horticulture (Level 2 or Level 3)
  • Royal Horticultural Society Level 2 certificates in Horticulture
  • Certificates of Competence in Pesticide Application (PAI and PA6)
  • Certificates in Safe Use of Pedestrian and Ride-on Mowers
  • Emergency First Aid at work
  • Functional skills in English and Maths

As a Royal Parks apprentice you will be employed by one of The Royal Parks' Landscape Maintenance Contractors. Your duties will typically include:

  • Shrub bed maintenance
  • Planting bedding, shrubs and trees
  • Grass cutting
  • Bedding maintenance
  • General gardening
  • Litter picking
  • Spraying of chemicals – subject to qualification
  • Driving – subject to qualification and authorisation
  • Ad-hoc soft landscaping
  • Ad-hoc involvement in the events / ceremonies within The Royal Parks
  • Working as part of a highly skilled team to maintain The Royal Parks landscape

Why apply?

The Royal Parks Apprenticeship Scheme is an ideal way to begin a career in the horticultural and park management industry. This is a unique opportunity to work in London’s historic parkland.

As a Royal Parks apprentice, you’ll work and learn in one of London’s finest parks and get paid while you complete your education. When you finish the course, you’ll be qualified as a skilled gardener and you’ll have gained a vast amount of experience from working in one of the UK’s most famous parks - Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Bushy Park, Richmond Park, The Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park, or Kensington Gardens. These parks are widely recognised as among the best of their kind in the world.

At the end of the apprenticeship, you will be ideally placed to continue your career in the horticultural industry either in a 'hands-on' role or by progressing to a management or supervisory post. This could be within open space management, landscape construction or design industries.

Many past Royal Parks Apprentices are now employed as Park Managers, Supervisors or Contract Managers for The Royal Parks and in other high profile locations such as Buckingham Palace, Crystal Palace Football Club and prestigious gardens worldwide.

Salary

Your salary will depend on age, skills and experience and will be at least the National Minimum Wage for your age group.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for people with a passion for gardening, who are keen to pursue a career in horticulture and park management. You should enjoy working outdoors, in all weathers, and be prepared for early starts.   A positive attitude, appetite for learning and good communication will all help you to get the most from the Apprenticeship.

You will be working in some of the most popular parks in the UK; you should be keen to positively represent The Royal Parks to the millions of Londoners and tourists who visit them.

At least 2 GCSEs grades A-C, preferably in English and Maths or equivalent grades are desirable.

Applications are welcomed from all backgrounds and age groups.

How to apply

Applications for the 2017 Scheme are now closed.

If you are interested in applying for future Schemes, have any questions, or to find out more about working in The Royal Parks please email grow@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk