As part of National Apprenticeship Week we asked Jack Rimmer, one of our apprentices, a few questions about his role:
What is current role and what does it entail?
My current role is ‘an apprentice in Amenity & Production in the Horticultural Industry’ at the Lathom nursery. My role as an apprentice when I first started was cleaning up plants and observing others to get used to plant names and varieties. As my knowledge got stronger I became able to ‘pick’ orders for our customers, and also took the main role with last years potting production. As time has gone by, I have been given quite a lot of responsibility, which I quite liked because it has allowed myself to show that I can be trusted and that I am a responsible person.
I now have my PA1 & PA6, spraying certificates and also my telehandler license. I am very grateful that Glendale has invested time and money to put me through both of these qualifications.
Can you tell us about how you first came to work for Glendale Horticulture ?
I first came to work for Glendale Horticulture in December 2016. My Dad works as one of the lorry drivers for Glendale, and he told me about the apprenticeship scheme. At first I didn’t know if I would enjoy the work, but as time went on, I felt as if I could be quite good at the job, and I know that, just over a year down the line, I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience.
What attracted you to taking up an apprenticeship?
I felt like taking up an apprenticeship was I good idea for me, because I feel as if I learn more when I am on the job doing different tasks. Learning and being paid at the same time just seemed the perfect way to learn for me.
What skills did the apprentice programme teach you?
So far the apprentice scheme has taught me a lot, such as the different plants that are out there, what certain plants and certain varieties are used for. I have also learnt what some of the latin plant names actually mean. During the winter season, we handle a large quantity of Rootball & bare-root trees and transplants, which has increased my knowledge of caring for this type of material, as well as loading / unloading them from vehicles.
Looking after plants in cold weather is also a very relevant topic at the moment!
I’ve also learned about CRF, which is controlled release fertiliser. The nutrition in compost only lasts a certain amount of time, so plants have to be kept fed over time, to keep them in the best possible condition to sell them and keep customers happy.
Has being an apprentice been what you expected so far?
Being an apprentice has been a lot more than what I expected it to be. As I have found myself being more trusted with tasks, I have had quite a lot of responsibility placed on me. I like this, as it allows me to continue to prove myself and my skills, and has also made me confident in my ability to carry out these duties responsibilities.
Why would you recommend doing an apprenticeship?
Personally, I would recommend an apprenticeship, as you have the freedom to learn whilst becoming experienced, rather than being sat in a classroom. The ‘hands-on’ approach suits me best. Also, I would recommend an apprenticeship, as if you are lucky enough, like myself, the company will fund courses & qualifications for you to attend and gain valuable experience, which I think is very important.