On the 1st December, annual applications open for horticultural work-based training opportunities across all Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) gardens. They offer an opportunity to get hands-on skills and experience alongside experts, prepare for life in the sector, and get paid at the same time. So if you aren’t in a situation where you can afford to stop work to retrain or improve your skills, this might be the perfect solution for you. The RHS School of Horticulture (SoH) has been at the forefront of horticultural training for over 200 years so it is a real opportunity to add something solid to your cv, in the inspiring settings of some of the best gardens in England.
If you are new to horticulture, a Level 2 Apprenticeship requires no prior experience or qualifications. This will give you the basic building blocks to start your career, along with the vital work experience that will speed your progress. These two-year, full-time apprenticeships are a mix of college (block-release) and work-place learning, and are available across all five gardens.
RHS Garden Bridgewater are also offering one Level 2 Arboriculture Apprenticeship, so a head for heights is a must!
One year professional placements
The one-year Professional Work Placements (PWP) are for those with some experience and an existing Level 2 horticultural qualification. This is your chance to spend a year immersed in your chosen specialism, getting to grips with the seasonality of the area of interest and learning key skills from professionals. There are a large number of specialist areas on offer including Edibles, Ornamental, Glass, Propagation and Community & Wellbeing, find out more here (video).
Step up your horticultural career
With a more general focus and a higher level, formal qualification, the Level 3 and 4 Diploma lasts a couple of years and rotates students around the garden. This allows you to learn within the ornamental horticulture areas and develop supervisory skills, management practices, budgeting and communication.
There are unique experiences you could take advantage of, such as helping at RHS shows like Chelsea, designing and building a garden in the local community, visiting gardens, and managing your own allotment space.
If you aren’t in the position to take advantage of work-based training, have a look at the RHS Qualifications and Training page which offers more options for learning.