7 Apr 2016

Horticulture Apprenticeship a great way to learn

Ardd Fotaneg · Botanic Garden

As trainer for the Horticulture Apprenticeship at the Garden, I have also been on a learning journey. In a recent assignment for college I was writing how the horticulture apprentice learns at the Garden.

Linking learning theories to the Horticulture Apprenticeship may sound dry but it made me realise what a fantastic learning experience it is. I am nearing the end of a 2 year PGCE teacher training course with Coleg Sir Gar. My college training and my work have been strongly linked.

Holistic Learning

On the Apprenticeship the learning is holistic. It covers all theories of learning. Some horticulture tasks can be repetitive and follow a behaviourist learning pattern. Sowing hundreds of seeds for all the plants needed in the Garden can be repetitive. Pavlov’s dog was stimulated with a tasty treat. Our apprentice is stimulated by the joy of seeing hundreds of seedlings emerge.

In a more constructivist way of learning the apprentice learns by the real experience of working in the garden. Life for a horticulturist can be complex and the plants individual. The work requires critical thinking and problem solving. The apprentice is encouraged to expand their learning and to use reflection to increase knowledge and understanding.

Work around the Garden

The on the job experience is varied. The apprentice’s journey takes them through all areas in the Garden. From California, Australia and South Africa, to the Mediterranean Basin in the Great Glasshouse. Around Tasmania, south west China and the Himalayas in Woods of the World. In the tropics of the Tropical House. And through the story of the evolution of flowering plants within this restored Regency Double Walled Garden.

Control of own learning

The apprentice gets to take responsibility of the Growing the Future Garden. This is a fantastic opportunity to put an individual stamp on an area. With freedom to take control of their own learning. A horticulture apprentice can be creative and experiment.

Meeting the learners needs

The apprentice also gets the opportunity to go on work placements. This gives them the opportunity to experience different aspects to the horticulture industry.  The learner takes part in producing a personal professional development plan. They can plan and take steps for progression in their own career in horticulture.

Recruiting now for the Horticulture Apprenticeship

This is an opportunity to achieve a qualification and skills in horticulture, whilst gaining practical experience alongside other horticulturists in a National Botanic Garden. Working to promote the development of this young Garden. The apprentice will be helping it achieve world-class standards while developing their own career.

More details download the job advert on our work for us page.