Looking for a career in horticulture? Grow your skills with The Royal Parks Horticultural Apprenticeship Scheme.
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.
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 at Capel Manor College (The Regent's Park campus) will be combined with practical experience that will utilise the unique and unrivalled environments across the Royal Parks.
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:
- Horticulture and Landscape Operative Trailblazer Standard
- 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
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.
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 2018 scheme are now open. You can apply through the National Apprenticeship Service website using the links below.
There are 7 vacancies available across the Royal Parks; you only need to apply for one park, so please apply to your preferred location.
Please be aware that your location preference will be taken into account, although you may be offered an opportunity in another park if appropriate.
Kensington Gardens https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeship/-252837
The Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeship/-252855
St James’s Park and The Green Park https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeship/-253167
The closing date for applications is Sunday 22 April 2018.
Applicants who pass the initial screening will be invited to a selection day in The Regent’s Park, London. The selection day will include a tour of the park, interviews and literacy and numeracy assessment.
The selection days will be held on Monday 14 May and Monday 21 May. Please indicate on your application form if you are unable to make either, or both of these dates.
Successful candidates from the open days will then be invited for interview with the relevant Landscape Maintenance Contractor who will be your employer.
Successful applicants will be offered a probationary period in August with a view to starting the Scheme in September 2018.
If you have any questions or to find out more about working in The Royal Parks please email firstname.lastname@example.org