What’s an apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is recognised as the gold standard for work-based training for new and existing staff members. It is a teaching; learning and assessment programme designed to develop an apprentice’s knowledge and skills and is delivered both in the workplace and in off the job workshops at Myerscough College, Preston over a 20-month period.

Who can apply?

  • A staff member already employed who, if not already, will need to be contracted to work a minimum of 30 hours per week, throughout the year. This person must not have already completed a similar qualification at Level 2.
  • A new recruit, employed into the business to begin their career in landscaping.


How long does it take?

The Apprenticeship programme will be delivered over a maximum 24-month time frame but must be at least 20 months. We would recommend 20 months as an appropriate length of time for Apprentices to complete this course.

Why choose the APL Apprenticeship Programme?

Industry standard:

  • The APL Apprenticeship Programme has been designed by the industry for the industry.
  • It has joined together industry, education and training expertise.
  • It will focus on industry quality standards and work pace.
  • It will be delivered by tutors/trainers who are technically excellent and industry experienced.
  • The service will be continually quality assured by the APL team.

Intensive delivery:

  • It will incorporate 7 x 1-week long residential Bootcamps that will focus on particular technical areas in an APL authorised delivery centre.
  • Online learning access will be provided to support apprentices learning.
  • Employees’ productivity and confidence will be increased, delivering a more efficient and effective employee, quickly.
  • It will use the latest equipment to support delivery, working with APL partners to source this.
  • Exposure to industry leaders/champions, inspiring apprentices to aim high.


  • Employer engagement will be strong throughout from recruitment through to completion and recognition.
  • E-portfolio access for both apprentice and employer to utilise.
  • Apprentice can upload work evidence against the learning programme and the employer can see the progression of their employee whenever they need.
  • Apprentice, employer and Tutor will meet every 12 weeks to discuss progression and support planning.
  • The Bootcamps will be residential at Myerscough College with the provision of accommodation and support staff on site.

APL Apprentice Learning Programme

The Apprenticeship Programme is based on a Qualification called the Apprenticeship Standard for a Landscape operative. Further info on the units below can be found at the following link:


This qualification has a number of learning units (listed below) which will be assessed as part of the end point assessment detailed further below, alongside intensive off the job training, in the form of Bootcamps.

Units are:

  • Unit 1 – Health & Safety
  • Unit 2 – Communication
  • Unit 3 – Industry understanding
  • Unit 4 – Business Skills
  • Unit 5 – Use and maintain non-powered and hand-held powered equipment
  • Unit 6 – Use and maintain pedestrian controlled powered equipment
  • Unit 8 – Plant identification and nomenclature
  • Unit 11 – Plant establishment and maintenance
  • Unit 14 – Survey and mark out sites for landscape features
  • Unit 15 – Construct hard landscape features
  • Unit 16 - Maintain hard landscape features
  • Unit 20 - Behaviours

Core Qualifications

The following qualifications will be required prior to taking the end point assessments:

  • Emergency First Aid
  • Pesticides: Level 2 Principals of the Safe Handling and Application or Pesticides OR Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides
  • Abrasive Wheels Training

Bootcamps will be delivered at Myerscough College:

Contracts of employment for a newly recruited apprentice (i.e not already a staff member) will need to be in place by the end of September 2017. Ideally, a new employee should have worked in your business for a month as a minimum before the first block begins on 23rd October.

  • Bootcamp week 1 – 23rd October 2017
  • Bootcamp week 2 – February 2018
  • Bootcamp week 3 – April 2018
  • Bootcamp week 4 – September 2018
  • Bootcamp week 5 – December 2018
  • Bootcamp week 6 – February 2019
  • Bootcamp week 7 – June 2019

The provider will visit the apprentice and employer every 12 weeks to discuss progression. The employer and apprentice will have access to the online learning system (BLOOM) and the ePortfolio system (Onefile), to upload evidence (apprentice) and track progression (apprentice and employer)

End Point Assessment

The End Point assessment will take place at the end of the programme once the tutor, student and employer all agree that the student is ready to undertake the assessment. It will be undertaken by a relevant Independent assessment organization and may take place at either the College’s premises or a site agreed by the employer. For further info please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/624175/Hort__Land_Ope rative_Assessment_Plan.pdf

The End Point Assessment will contain 3 components: – all components must be passed for the apprentice to meet the apprenticeship standard.

a) An online knowledge test to be taken at the end of the apprenticeship programme in controlled conditions.
b) A synoptic practical assessment
c) Professional Discussion

Employer’s financial investment

The Apprenticeship costs can be broken down as follows and will be dependent upon the age of the person you employ.

Employer Costs

Businesses will need to contribute the following amounts in support of the delivery of this apprenticeship:

  • For Apprentices aged 16-18, the Employer Contribution is £2,600
  • For Apprentices aged 19+, the Employer Contribution is £3,000

A Payment Plan can be discussed on a case by case basis.

These contributions also include the costs of accommodation and meals whilst on the block training weeks at Myerscough College.

Skills Funding Agency (SFA) funding is administered by Myerscough College to cover the main course fees for the programme. The employer contributions are to cover the additional costs associated with running the boot camps and also an age based contribution for Apprentices aged 19+ who receive significantly reduced funding from the SFA.

Apprenticeship Levy

From April 2017 employers whose payroll exceeds £3 million per year will pay into an Apprenticeship levy. The funds in this account can be used to cover the costs of Apprenticeship training only and not additional costs such as accommodation, external trainers etc. Therefore the contributions above are still payable in addition to funds paid via the employer's digital account which only funds part of the training costs.

If you fall into this category please contact us for a discussion.

Apprentice Wage Rates

The employer can set the wage rate for their apprentice and we like to highlight the National Minimum Wage Rates that are currently applicable are:

  • the rate for under 18- £4.20
  • the rate for 18 to 20-year-olds - £5.90
  • the rate for 21-24-year-olds - £7.38
  • the rate for 25+ - £7.83 (national living wage)

Rates are correct as of 18 January 2018

In April 2019, these Wage Rates go up to:

  • the rate for under 18- £4.35
  • the rate for 18 to 20-year-olds - £6.15
  • the rate for 21-24-year-olds - £7.70
  • the rate for 25+ - £8.21 (national living wage)

Whilst there is an Apprentice Rate (£3.70 per hour - £3.90 as of April 2019) the APL would strongly encourage employers to offer at least the national minimum wage rate (age applicable). This will both encourage high-quality applicants and recognise the value and contribution that employee will be making.

What do I need to do first?

Existing staff member

  • Make sure the staff member does not already have any Horticulture qualification at level 2 or above.
  • Review the qualification at Level 2 and check that your staff member will be learning new knowledge and skills and hasn’t previously gained a similar qualification at Level 2.
  • Check you have a contract in place that is for a minimum of 30 hours per week and the contract runs through the entire year.
  • The staff member will need to complete an application form to register for an apprenticeship place.

New recruit

  • Agree on job advert details with Myerscough College, including wage rate, hours, entry grades etc.
  • Promote your vacancy in your local area – contact schools, job boards, newspaper advertisement- whatever works best when you usually recruit.
  • Put time aside to sift applicants and interview

Myerscough College will do an initial sift of all applicants based on the entry criteria agreed and then send applicants to the employer for review, decision and action.

Should you wish Myerscough to manage the entire process, including arranging interviews, participating in the interview process etc. then an additional charge will be quoted for this service. The responsibility for recruitment does sit with the employer to provide the time and resource to recruit their new member of staff.

Apprenticeship Programme Responsibilities

The APL Apprenticeship Programme will only work effectively if we all play our part. Communication through the programme is key and signing up to the below responsibilities will increase the likelihood of a fantastic and fulfilling experience for everyone.


  • Supply their National Insurance Number at the start of the training programme.
  • Attend all training arranged as part of the Individual Learning Plan as outlined at induction. Complete all work set as part of their training programme and complete all portfolio work to the agreed deadlines.
  • Notify both employer and college by 9.30am on any day, of absence.
  • Ask the employer and/or college if they have any concerns or questions about their employment or training.
  • Read and ensure they understand the disciplinary procedures which may apply if they fail to uphold their side of the agreement.
  • Read and ensure they understand who to contact if they have a problem, or have a complaint about any matter.
  • Agree that relevant regular updates on their progress will be shared with their employer and tutors and, if under 18 years of age, may be shared with parents.
  • Agree to disclose to college all relevant information about themselves that may affect their work or training.


  • Promote your apprenticeship vacancy within the local community and with local schools etc.
  • Recruit the apprentice including sifting applications, arrange and conduct interviews, trial/assessment days etc., supported by Myerscough College.
  • Ensure the apprentice has a Contract of Employment or a written statement to comply with prevailing employment law. 
  • Ensure the apprentice is paid the minimum hourly rate required under legislation.
  • Ensure that the apprentice has an induction into the company by a suitable company employee and ensure any apprentice is properly supervised at all times and that they know to whom they are responsible.
  • Be participative in understanding the learning programme, on-the job training needs and releasing your apprentice to attend the Bootcamps.
  • Support the apprentice to record all work based learning on the e-portfolio system.
  • Participate in progress meetings as directed by the college representative.
  • Allow reasonable access to his /her premises by representatives of the APL, Myerscough College or the Landscape Skills Academy.
  • Take all necessary steps to secure the health safety and welfare of all the apprentices to the same extent and in the same manner as an employer is required to do in relation to employees
  • Take all necessary steps to secure the safeguarding of young people and vulnerable adults
  • Ensure that the apprentice’s terms and conditions comply with prevailing Equality law, to include any amendment, secondary legislation or statutory instrument.
  • Ensure that all young persons participating in the elements of the training programme provided by the employer are covered by a policy of Employers’ Liability Insurance and by any other insurance required by law.
  • Immediately inform the college with the details of all accidents involving a learner during the course of attendance by him/her on the elements of the training programme provided by the employer and shall keep a record of the same.
  • Make available all accounting financial documents relating to any apprentice and other relevant documents including policies and certificates of insurance and by any other insurance required by law.
  • Where an employer sponsors an Apprentice, that is to financially support an Apprentice through their Apprenticeship including fees, catering and/or accommodation, the employer shall be liable to pay the college any such fees reasonably incurred by the Apprentice during their apprenticeship and owed to the College. The Employer is required to countersign the relevant college Agreement for the facilities to be provided.

Myerscough College

  • Assess the employment premises for suitability for the training programme and acceptability to the standards set by the SFA.
  • Where arrangements break down we will use reasonable endeavours, with partners, to offer alternative employment or training opportunity subject to disciplinary rules.
  • Provide off the job training to help the apprentice gain qualifications which fulfil the apprenticeship criteria, as per the above college days detailed above.
  • Ensure that all qualifications are current and meet nationally set quality standards. 
  • Monitor progress and provide support on all aspects of the training programme including the supply of regular reports to employers and apprentices.
  • Conduct reviews of progress with the employer and apprentice at regular intervals.
  • Provide information to employers and apprentices on the College’s Safeguarding arrangements for young people and vulnerable adults.
  • Work to ensure Equality of Opportunity.
  • Support delivery of the Bootcamps working alongside Landscape Skills Academy, providing a high-quality teaching environment and experience.

APL and Industry Professionals

  • Contribute to the delivery of the Bootcamps at Myerscough College, providing a high-quality teaching environment and experience.
  • Supporting students during Bootcamps to meet individual learning needs.
  • Work closely with the Myerscough College team to keep abreast of student progress and scenarios that may impact Bootcamp delivery. Association of Professional Landscapers / Horticultural Trades Association
  • Quality assures service delivery from Myerscough College and delivery partners.
  • Undertake marketing and promotion activities, capturing apprentice experiences for promotional material.
  • Manage issues or formal complaints in a fair and timely manner.

Further enquiries can be made with Phil Tremayne at the Association of Professional Landscapers

Phil Tremayne
APL General Manager
E: phil.tremayne@hta.org.ukphil.tremayne@hta.org.uk
M: 07808 775 175

Or Meryt Ramble-Wallace
Account and Projects Executive
E meryt.rw@hta.org.uk
T 01235 776 165