Bowles & Wyer has introduced the Hort Academy – a training programme for landscape and horticultural professionals designed to tackle the widening skills gap in the horticulture industry.
It is currently open to everyone within the gardening & aftercare department at Bowles & Wyer. It has a plan to roll it out across the company and with a future industry-wide potential.
The curriculum has been developed by Jeff Stephenson, Head of Horticulture & Aftercare at Bowles & Wyer. It offers training for everyone regardless of their ability and previous experience. For the staff in the company’s gardening & aftercare department, it is designed to foster a deep knowledge of plants and how to nurture and tend them. For the designers and landscape architects within the company the ambition is to build a firm foundation in horticulture that can benefit their design work.
Speaking about the issue of growing skills in the industry, Jeff Stephenson said:
“Like many in our industry, we’re fully committed to ensuring gardening, landscaping and horticulture are viewed as credible, professional careers. By launching the Hort Academy we’ve placed ourselves firmly at the forefront of this important movement. We hope our Academy will go some way to addressing the deepening skills shortage in the industry and to improving the level of expertise across the sector as a whole” .
The programme will cover horticultural skills and theory as well as CPD, attendance at seminars, workshops and regular trips to nurseries. Training will be the equivalent of one day per month and will be on-going. Jeff is also developing an online, modular, training programme for staff to access at their own pace.
“John Wyer, Chief Executive, Bowles & Wyer said:
“We founded the Hort Academy because we are committed to building successful careers for all our staff. We know that when they realise their potential and thrive, our business thrives too. But we have also been careful not to lose the joy of horticulture. We want everyone at Bowles & Wyer to share our passion for creating and tending stunning landscapes.”