11 apprentices from idverde’s Midlands and South West regions came together in Melksham in March to review the first year of their apprenticeship.
The apprentices are studying for Level 2 qualifications in Horticulture or Landscaping under the Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standard through idverde’s Performance Campus, with support from our training partner, Element Skills Training.
They are a diverse group, with some being new to horticulture and landscaping, and others already having worked in the industry for a number of years and now enjoying the opportunity to back up their experience with a formal qualification.
For the annual review, the apprentices were asked to give a presentation to idverde managers from our Midlands and South West regions, and members of idverde’s Leadership Team, including CEO Doug Graham and HR Director Andrea Gomm.
For many of the apprentices this was their first experience of public speaking, but all gave engaging presentations outlining their experiences over the past year, with some opting to provide a ‘show and tell’ demonstration of some of the skills they’ve gained so far, such as potting up seedlings.
All those present agreed that the apprentices showed real progression and a passion for horticulture and landscaping. John Langston, the apprentices’ tutor from Element Skills Training, commented: “These learners put a lot of effort into their work and it is always a pleasure to mark what they produce. The presentations were informative and everyone found the day a useful tool in learner/team interaction. I thoroughly enjoy working with these learners. They show commitment and enthusiasm and I feel very fortunate to be working with them.”
Prior to the annual review in March, all of the apprentices enrolled in idverde’s Performance Campus in the Midlands, South West and London regions had also been given the opportunity to design a ‘Pop-up Garden’ on the theme of ‘Re-use and Recycle’, with one of their designs being chosen to be constructed and displayed at the Royal Bath and West Show in May.
Following the presentations, the proposed designs were viewed and a vote taken to decide the favourite. The winning design was Chippenham-based Robin Ware’s, whose garden featured chairs and planters made from wooden pallets, a water feature and flower planters made from tyres, and a wall made from glass bottles.
Everyone is excited to view the finished garden at the Show, and all of the apprentices will have the opportunity to visit, and be on hand to talk to members of the public about the garden.
The annual review day was a great success, which idverde’s CEO Doug Graham, summed up, saying: “It was great to see the positive development in colleagues on the programme. Every colleague demonstrated that they have progressed on the course and are using this development in their everyday work to make a difference for both idverde and themselves, Well done to everyone involved, just brilliant!”