Horticultural workers across south Lincolnshire are more skilled and have a greater interest in their work thanks to the Spalding Horticultural Training Group.
The group has existed since 1982, initially providing training for just a handful of local horticultural business. However, Lorna Howitt, who manages the group, says: “From there it has grown and grown and we now service 40 plus businesses for their training needs.”
The training group has had its own dedicated base in Low Fulney, Spalding, for the past six years and has had what Lorna calls “huge success” over the years in gaining government funding for training.
Spalding Horticultural Training Group is an approved centre to deliver Diplomas, which have replaced NVQs, and apprenticeships for young people. On top of on-the-job training, the young people attend workshops to learn the essentials of what they will need to get through the Diploma, linked to the needs of individual businesses.
However, people who might have worked in the industry for some years also attend training on anything from using machinery to health and safety or plant science and technology.
Lorna said: “People can be working on a nursery for years in some cases and not have any formal training for their job. Having a better understanding of how a plant works and what it requires obviously makes that person more skilled, more interested in the job and hopefully want to learn more.”