The Chartered Institute of Horticulture (CIH) have commenced a search to appoint the first Early-Career Horticulturist (ECH) Representative to their Council of Trustees, representing the key demographics of horticultural students and those beginning their careers in horticulture with less than 3 years professional experience.
The ECH Representative will use their experience, knowledge and skills to ensure that earlycareer horticulturists are a focus of the Institute’s ambitions. They will help ensure that CIH activities and events are inclusive and contribute to supporting the needs and aspirations of those entering the horticulture industry.
“From talking to our student members, it became apparent that the students of today are very different; more of them are older, bringing a wealth of experience from other sectors and previous careers. Also, the number of apprentices embedded in workplaces exceed those in traditional full-time further education. The way we engage with these horticulturists and the type of support they require are different. Having a representative at the highest level within the CIH will help make sure these needs are addressed.”
CIH Development Officer Helen Sessions CHort MCIHort
Candidates for this position will either be a student of horticulture or will have recently begun their own career. They may be an apprentice, undergraduate, graduate, mature student, career-changer, trainee or in employment. Importantly, they’ll be a passionate proponent of horticulture and careers in horticulture and will be enthusiastic in contributing to the work of the CIH in promoting our profession.
This announcement comes as part of a larger plan to develop the Institute’s offering for earlycareer horticulturists, building on the strategy to attract, inspire, develop and support new entrants to rewarding careers. With a particular focus on career-changers and apprentices, the CIH will also launch a termly electronic newsletter called ‘Growing Somewhere?’ which will showcase career stories, industry insights, training schemes, further-study options and information on wellbeing, grants and bursaries.
“The CIH has an important role to play in bridging the gap in supporting those leaving education and building their careers. We are working on delivery of professional skills training and fostering informal mentoring with our vastly experienced membership base, the appointment of the ECH Representative is key to ensuring our commitment to these initiatives.”
CIH President Susan Nicholas FCIHort
The CIH have been proud to offer complimentary membership to all students of horticulture since 2018, making sure that new entrants are introduced to the concept of continuing professional development and peer networking. This has been a key offering alongside the popular Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition.