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The Royal Parks launches 2011 Apprentice Scheme

Kick-start a career in horticulture and earn while you learn

GROW, The Royal Parks' award-wining apprenticeship scheme, is now open for applications for the 2011 programme. The three-year course, combining practical experience in London's finest parks and college-based learning, is primarily aimed at school leavers age 16-18 and is the ideal way to begin a career in horticulture.

As an apprentice gardener, the successful applicants will be paid a salary to gain hands on experience and earn recognised qualifications. The apprentices will be based at one of London's Royal Parks for four days, and study for one day a week at Capel Manor College in Regent's Park. On top of gaining experience in some of the world's most iconic parkland, at the end of the course, successful apprentices will be awarded with a Royal Horticultural Society Level Two Certificate in Horticulture and a Diploma in Work-based Horticulture, plus other vocational qualifications. The deadline for applications is 15 March 2011.

Andrew Williams, Park Programme Manager for The Royal Parks said: "The Royal Parks Apprenticeship Programme offers school leavers a fantastic opportunity to begin a career in horticulture. Combining practical training in London's finest parks with class-based learning, it's an excellent foundation for either a hands on role or to progress to a management or supervisory position. Apply for the scheme, and you could soon find yourself tending to some of the world's most famous green spaces, which are visited by over 37 million people every year."

Deadline for applications is 15 March 2011. For more information or to apply, visit: www.royalparks.org.uk/royalparksapprentice.

Media enquiries:

For further information or images please contact:

The Royal Parks Press Office on 0300 061 2128 or email press@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

About The Royal Parks Apprenticeship Scheme:

  • GROW, The Royal Parks Apprenticeship Programme is run in partnership with its landscape maintenance contractors, and Capel Manor College.
  • The Royal Parks landscape contractors currently are: Fountains plc; Enterprise plc; Turfsoil Ltd and Veolia plc.
  • Apprentices gain experience in the care and management of public and private gardens, sports grounds and green community areas. This involves development and maintenance of lawns and borders, trees, shrubs, hedges, herbaceous plants and bedding displays.
  • Training involves all aspects of plant maintenance, cultivation and landscape development. Apprentices also learn about pest control through chemical, biological and cultural methods, operation and maintenance of a wide range of machinery, and soil science.
  • The programme will commence July-September, with studies at Capel Manor College due to start in September 2011.

Who should apply?

  • Applicants will ideally hold at least four GCSEs at Grade A to C, preferably in Maths, English and Science and will have an interest in horticulture and gardening.
  • Applications are welcomed from all backgrounds and age groups but the programme is particularly suitable for school leavers or people at the beginning of their careers.
  • Due to the way the Apprenticeship is funded applicants must have residency status, and we cannot accept applications from holders of degree-level qualifications and above.
  • LSC funding may be available for applicants aged 16-18, partial funding may be available for applicants aged 19-24.

About The Royal Parks:

  • The Royal Parks is an executive agency of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
  • The Royal Parks are: Bushy Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, Richmond Park and St James's Park. For further information please visit: www.royalparks.org.uk
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