Looking for a career in horticulture? Grow your skills with The Royal Parks Horticultural Apprenticeship Scheme.
The Royal Parks Horticultural Apprenticeship Scheme consists of:
- On the job training at one of the eight Royal Parks, based in Central and Greater London.
- Day release to college to study for qualifications that will provide a firm foundation for a career in horticulture.
- Specialist masterclasses run by experts from The Royal Parks and the Royal Parks Guild.
The length of the scheme will depend on the entry level and qualifications studied, however it will typically be 3 years.
You will be given training in the theory and practice of developing and maintaining high quality public gardens, sports grounds and green communal areas.
We will train you in theoretical and practical horticulture, together with cultivation, design and landscape management. You’ll also learn about pest control and soil science, and be trained to operate a range of machinery.
Classroom learning at Capel Manor College (The Regent's Park campus) will be combined with practical experience that will utilise the unique and unrivaled environments across the Royal Parks.
During the scheme you will have the opportunity to gain the following qualifications:
- Horticulture and Landscape Operative Trailblazer Standard
- Royal Horticultural Society Level 2 certificates in Horticulture
- Certificates of Competence in Pesticide Application (PA1, PA6/PA6W)
- Certificates in Safe Use of Pedestrian and Ride-on Mowers
- Emergency First Aid at work
- Functional skills in English and Maths
As a Royal Parks apprentice you will be employed by one of The Royal Parks' Landscape Maintenance Contractors. Your duties will typically include:
- Shrub bed maintenance
- Planting bedding, shrubs and trees
- Grass cutting
- Bedding maintenance
- General gardening
- Litter picking
- Spraying of chemicals – subject to qualification
- Driving – subject to qualification and authorisation
- Ad-hoc soft landscaping
- Ad-hoc involvement in the events / ceremonies within The Royal Parks
- Working as part of a highly skilled team to maintain The Royal Parks landscape
The Royal Parks Apprenticeship Scheme is an ideal way to begin a career in the horticultural and park management industry. This is a unique opportunity to work in London’s historic parkland.
As a Royal Parks apprentice, you’ll work and learn in one of London’s finest parks and get paid while you complete your education. When you finish the course, you’ll be qualified as a skilled gardener and you’ll have gained a vast amount of experience from working in one of the UK’s most famous parks - Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Bushy Park, Richmond Park, The Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park, or Kensington Gardens. These parks are widely recognised as among the best of their kind in the world.
At the end of the apprenticeship, you will be ideally placed to continue your career in the horticultural industry either in a 'hands-on' role or by progressing to a management or supervisory post. This could be within open space management, landscape construction or design industries.
Many past Royal Parks Apprentices are now employed as Park Managers, Supervisors or Contract Managers for The Royal Parks and in other high profile locations such as Buckingham Palace, Crystal Palace Football Club and prestigious gardens worldwide.
All of our apprentices are paid at least the National Living Wage rate for the over 23 bracket. This is currently £9.50 an hour and will change to £10.42 an hour from April 2023. All apprentices, even if they are under 23, will be entitled to this.
Who are we looking for?
We are looking for people with a passion for gardening, who are keen to pursue a career in horticulture and park management. You should enjoy working outdoors, in all weathers, and be prepared for early starts. A positive attitude, appetite for learning and good communication will all help you to get the most from the Apprenticeship.
You will be working in some of the most popular parks in the UK; you should be keen to positively represent The Royal Parks to the millions of Londoners and tourists who visit them.
At least 2 GCSEs grades 9-4, preferably in English and Maths or equivalent grades are desirable.
The Royal Parks [and the Landscape Maintenance Contractors we partner with to deliver the Horticultural Apprenticeship Scheme] are strongly committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and are equal opportunities employers. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome all applications but would particularly encourage applications from young people who are from diverse ethnic backgrounds, living with a disability and/or are from low-income households, as we work to create a workforce that is truly representative of the communities we serve.
How to apply
You should apply online through the government's Apprenticeships website - links provided below.
Applications are open 6th February - 26th March 2023.
To find out more about horticultural apprenticeships in The Royal Parks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org