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The Royal Parks (TRP) is searching for two apprentices to help maintain the landscape of one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries of London.

In January 2016, The Royal Parks secured nearly £4.5 million from the Heritage Lottery and BIG Lottery Funds ‘Parks for People’ programme to protect the future of the historic and nationally important Brompton Cemetery. The project includes the creation of a visitor centre, restoration of the majestic chapel, conservation of monuments, improvements to the landscape and the funding of two apprenticeship posts.

As a cemetery apprentice, successful applicants will be paid a salary while working and gaining hands-on experience in Brompton Cemetery, and at the same time work towards an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Horticulture. They will be employed by one of TRP's landscape maintenance contractors, OCS.

Duties will include general maintenance of the 39 acres of historic green space in Brompton Cemetery including mowing, seeding and planting, as well as the preparation and excavation of grave plots.

A stone's throw from Chelsea Football Club, the cemetery dates back to 1840 and is a member of the 'Magnificent Seven', a title given to the seven large London cemeteries built in the Victoria era to cater for the rapidly growing population in the capital. Designed by architect Benjamin Baud and gardener John Claudius Loudon, the garden cemetery is Grade I listed on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. It has a formal layout, with a central avenue leading to a chapel designed in a similar style to the setting around St Peter’s in Rome

Toni Assirati, Head of Education and Community, said: “Apprenticeships are incredibly important to us. We’ve been recruiting apprentices since 1962, and currently 10 per cent of our gardeners are apprentices.

“Crucially, we have a proven track record of securing permanent jobs for our apprentices, with many of them having now moved on; working as park managers and supervisors for The Royal Parks, or in other prestigious locations such as Buckingham Palace and Longwood Gardens - one of America’s most famous botanical gardens.”

Successful applicants will be able to complete their apprenticeship in two years. However, flexibility is built into the programme so an apprenticeship can last between one to five years depending upon academic ability, previous experience and qualifications.

Salary is £313.17 per week. Apply by 2 August via the Gov.uk apprenticeship website.

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