They will work under nursery manager Stuart Tickner and with the nursery team undertaking general nursery work and learning new skills. Working within the existing nursery team, their daily tasks include unloading lorries, watering, weeding, labelling and feeding plants on site.
New skills have been gained already, including creating plant displays, interacting with customers, pruning of topiary plants and biosecurity. Whilst working at Provender Nurseries both students are also being tested with regular plant idents and learning the seasonality of certain tasks and the rationale behind when and why seasonal tasks are carried out.
The ex-Hadlow College students, Rob Passey and Adam Harris are settling in well and rapidly becoming valuable team members.
Adam Harris says: ‘’I like putting the skills I learnt at Hadlow College into practise particularly pruning, feeding plants properly, biosecurity and how important watering is. It has also helped with plant identifying but I know I can also ask for help if I don’t know what I am looking for. I have never had to deal with customers before which is something I am learning.
“I like my job being very varied. I particularly like tidying the plants and improving their displays. I did this one particular time with the bay trees and was delighted to see man sell as a result.’’
Rob Passey says: “I enjoy pruning, moving stock, unloading lorries, and putting stock out for sale. I have learnt a lot of plant names in the short term I have been here and learnt a lot about the plants themselves. Everyone on the team is a good laugh, and makes me feel welcome.”
Provender Nurseries continues to work with Hadlow College and is looking toward the next academic year to continue the growing regime and working with students within the national curriculum.
Provender Nurseries is actively sourcing stock for growing on from the autumn as well as sourcing stock for the cash and carry sales at the moment.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions placed earlier in the year some of the students did not manage to continue the work experience hours required for the completion of their course. However, Provender Nurseries fully intends to continue the work experience on site next year.
Stuart Tickner says: ‘We are genuinely delighted with the working relationship developing with Hadlow College. As a company, Provender Nurseries are keen to support the future of our industry and we feel the budding working relationship at Hadlow College will continue to go from strength to strength.’’