Interest in horticulture careers continues to grow – FE News

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The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has seen an almost 25% increase in applications for its Diploma in Horticultural Practice, almost six times as many applicants as there are places. For the second consecutive year, the majority (57% in 2022) of candidates are women.

Suzanne Moss, Head of Education and Learning at RHS, said:

“It is fantastic to see another year of growth in HRH education. More and more people are being drawn to the horticulture industry as they see the benefits of the variety of careers our training and courses can lead to. Seeing the increase in the number of diploma candidates, who already have experience in the horticulture industry, is particularly encouraging as we face the challenge of bridging the skills gap for supervisory, specialist and technician roles in Horticulture We hope that an increasing focus on the natural world, environmental protection, and personal and societal well-being will continue to encourage more people to enter the horticulture industry as a career.

The horticulture industry is currently worth £28.8 billion to the UK economy, with the potential to grow to £42 billion while supporting 763,000 jobs by 2030. As well as being an economic powerhouse for the UK, the industry will be able to boost rural economies and create new urban jobs by maintaining vital green spaces.

Gardens in the UK provide a wide range of environmental, health, welfare and economic benefits. Horticulturists will have an important role to play in tackling the climate and biodiversity crises, which is reflected in the learning content of HRH qualifications.

Students undertaking the two-year course will study at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, rotating through ten different departments in the gardens during their training, in addition to attending lectures and masterclasses. Graduate students will also earn national qualifications in subjects spanning the horticultural spectrum, from driving tractors to inspecting trees.

The learning experience also offers unique opportunities such as helping with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a local design and build project and visits to many gardens. There are also scholarship opportunities in the UK and overseas.

To undertake an HRH degree, candidates should have work experience in professional horticulture and a minimum of a Level 2 horticulture qualification. Students are provided with an overview of all aspects of horticulture, with the option to study in depth a subject of their choice in their dissertation at the end of the course.

As well as the degree, practical training at the five RHS gardens includes specialist horticulture apprenticeships and work placements, and learners can also apply for RHS accredited qualifications at over 80 centers across the UK as well as a range of informal workshops organized in the RHS gardens.

Further information on RHS education provision can be found on the RHS website at: www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning and by following @RHS_learning

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