Royal Parks offering apprenticeships

Royal Parks apprentice Malachi Yarker

The Royal Parks charity in London is looking for seven horticultural apprentices to help them care for some of the most historic, well-loved and renowned parks in the UK.

The successful applicants will be based in one of London’s eight Royal Parks four days a week, and study at Capel Manor College in The Regent’s Park on the remaining day.

Coinciding with the start of National Apprenticeship Week (4-8 March) aspiring gardeners can now apply to work in iconic locations such as Hyde Park and Greenwich Park.

Royal Parks Apprentice Selina Tan in Richmond photo by Monica R Goya

The scheme typically lasts three years, and apprentices study for the Horticulture Landscape Operative Standard, which includes modules such as plant identification and soil science.  In their final year, they can study for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Level 2 Certificates in Horticulture.

As part of their studies, apprentices will also have access to the state-of-the-art Hyde Park Nursery, which grows over 450,000 plants for all eight Royal Parks. Here they will learn about propagation and have a hand in growing the parks eye-catching flowerbed displays.

The highly successful scheme dates from the 1960s with many of its apprentices going on to secure employment within the Royal Parks, or other prestigious locations such as Kew Gardens and Buckingham Palace.

Dennis Clarke, Head of Park Services at The Royal Parks, said: “This is a unique opportunity to work in world-class parks. Collectively, our parks receive 77 million visits a year – making them among the most visited attractions in the UK – and we have our gardeners and apprentices to thank for helping make people’s visits enjoyable and memorable.

“They plant and maintain our eye-catching flowerbeds, tend to our formal lawns, sow meadows for wildlife and keep our parks looking pristine. If you want to start a promising career in horticulture and are passionate about parks, we want to hear from you.”

Deadline for applications is 7 April 2019. Apply via www.royalparks.org.uk/apprenticeship