Standard of day release courses

I’m particularly interested to find out the experiences of others when it comes to the standard of day release courses (particularly NVQ’s compared to the old City & Guilds courses).

Insufficient funding and cutbacks

It’s my impression that the standard of teaching and course content has dropped year on year and that the courses available don’t always satisfy the needs of those managing private gardens and open spaces. I presume that some of this has to do with insufficient funding influenced by the cutbacks and maybe because local authorities are unable to afford to fund trainees to the extent they did years ago?

The PGG traineeship scheme is an obvious exception to this rule but I wonder if this model could be extended through more of our gardens to benefit more of our youngsters? It maybe that more employers could fund trainees and that a national curriculum could be set to be followed during the traineeship with maybe three or four local gardens in each area providing the practical training and mentoring to give the best all-round experience. I would hope that this would become a recognised traineeship within our industry and that we’d have a far better equipped workforce as a result.

Should we professional gardeners take matters into our own hands?

Maybe others have better experiences or maybe know that something along these lines is already being done but as far as I can see much of the current horticultural training is embarrassingly poor and frankly it’s time we as professional gardeners took matters into our own hands!

Paul Thornton
Paul is PGG member in Rugby.

  1. I’ve been working as a gardener for 8 years and would love to do some part time study to fit around my work that isnt as intense as an rhs level 3.
    I’d prefer to meet with others to do some other training rather than distance learning. What is there?

  2. I hope you don’t mind me mentioning that there are quite a few skilled gardeners out there now offering hands on onsite training for properties and individuals, mainly in certain areas like rose pruning and training(one of mine). these can take place at your place of work and cover the plants that you have growing in your garden as well covering other types if required. so are slightly different to college classes but another area that could be worth looking at

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