Just over a year ago, Green-Rooms were looking to expand the business and take on a trainee landscaper. They found it hard to find someone to employ who really wanted to be a landscaper, and wasn't just looking for any old job, or was actually capable of working hard enough to do the work they do. During that period, they had three different employees, none of whom managed to stick it out.
It was during this period that Gabriel was made aware of the new apprenticeship scheme at an APL meeting in Sussex where Lee Price, Myerscough College, made a presentation about the proposed scheme starting in September. This seemed like the way forward, as it would give them an opportunity to try and recruit a higher calibre candidate who was looking for a career, rather than just a job, and would also offer them guaranteed work for two years backed up by a recognised landscaping qualification.
With much assistance from the APL, Green-Rooms were able to quickly shortlist a group of suitable apprentices for interview. Having completed the interviews and a little bit of discussion, it became clear that Harry Killingworth was the standout candidate and he started working with them in September 2015. Having worked with Green-Rooms now for about ten months, and attended a number of the apprenticeship boot camps in Preston hosted by Myerscough College, Harry is still thoroughly enjoying his apprenticeship and rapidly learning all the relevant skills required to be a landscaper.
Gabriel spoke with Harry in June about why he decided to become an apprentice landscaper. He said that having worked in the retail for a number of years, having previously attended art college, he was concerned that the work he had been doing for a number of years was becoming a bit mundane, and he wanted to have a skill, something he could be proud of, and also was just concerned that he wasn't working hard enough. At the age of 24 he wanted to challenge himself, learn a new skill and feel tired at the end of working day. Having managed a market stall for a baking company in Brighton, including working through a couple of winters, Harry was used to working outside and was keen to have a job that kept him outside, but had the benefits of keeping him fit too.
Almost half way through his apprenticeship Harry is now picking up skills and learning what is required to produce high-quality gardens. He has helped Green-Rooms complete all of the five gardens shown photographs below, plus worked on a variety of different landscaping projects. The apprenticeship scheme is has proved to be beneficial in both helping Green-Rooms to find the right kind of young person for landscaping work, and for the apprentice to learn through a combination of practical work and college training.