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Nurturing Green Leaders of the Future With WCG: A Day with idverde

WCG Visit
WCG Visit | 2024 |

Nurturing Green Leaders of the Future With WCG: A Day with idverde

After being approached by the esteemed Warwickshire College Group, idverde had the pleasure of running a work experience day in collaboration with Warwickshire College Group (WCG), which has colleges in Royal Leamington Spa, Rugby, and Moreton Morrell.

The idverde team, led by Elaine Callaghan, welcomed a group of enthusiastic students in partnership with WCG’s Supported Learning department. This department within Warwickshire College Group caters to young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) aged 16 to 25.

Their purpose is to equip students with a comprehensive education, arming them with essential life skills, workplace proficiencies, self-assurance, and the ability to navigate employment opportunities as they transition into independent adulthood.

They extend support and opportunities to help each student realise their full potential, regardless of it’s nature. This might involve securing and maintaining a low-skilled job for some, while others may pursue advanced apprenticeships. The diversity of abilities among their students is vast and unique.

The event hosted at the Leamington Spa site was a great initiative. It allowed idverde to appeal to younger people and showcase what we have to offer and the diversity of our work consisting of outdoorsy horticulture and greenspace management to office-based 9 to 5.

There is truly something for everyone. Many of our apprentices stay on to have a prosperous career. In an ever-evolving world, the landscape sector faces a dual challenge. First, the industry needs more young talent gaining entry. Second, there exists an awareness gap—many young individuals remain unaware of the exciting opportunities this field offers.

It is engaging days like this where we bridge this divide and ignite passion for green spaces among the youth. Elaine, Head of Learning and Development, set the stage. She introduced idverde created games and quizzes to engage the students and create a gateway to understanding our mission and values.

John led the potting session. They potted a Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) and Christmas Cactus cuttings (Schlumbergera hybrids). Afterwards, we visited the bowls area, where Mike Finch did an excellent job showing the students the machines used in maintaining the greens. He also talked about the place’s history. The students even had the opportunity to practice some bowling.

Later, Carrie and Terry took the students to the park. The students were split into three groups of two each and tasked with weeding and making a flower bed look presentable.

The best flower bed was then chosen by John, who used his horticulture expertise to judge. The two winners were awarded a pair of secateurs, each as a prize.

We were greatly impressed by the students’ enthusiasm and engagement. They participated in all the activities and asked many questions. It can be daunting to go somewhere unfamiliar, but they settled in well and appeared to really enjoy the day.

All of our staff at idverde supported the event and were eager to discuss with and inspire the students, give them their undivided time, and showcase the great work that idverde does.

Dave Evans – Work Experience & Supported Internships Coordinator, said:

"I just want to say a huge thank you to all the team there today who delivered a fantastic experience for our students. This was a very positive and successful day, wonderfully hosted by the idverde team. It is very clear you did a huge amount of preparation and really delivered a day of well-targeted activities, absolutely matching our students' levels and aptitudes. I know they all enjoyed the day, and I am hopeful some of them will be inspired to apply to join idverde. I look forward to working with you in future and will send you all the information we spoke about regarding the structure of our individual work experience placements and the Supported Internship framework in due course."

At idverde, we appreciate the recognition and look forward to creating more opportunities like this in the future. A heartfelt thank you to the entire idverde team who contributed towards making the day so successful.

Special thanks to Andy Griffiths, who was available at the start of the day to welcome the students, Adrian Perrett, who ferried the team to the sites, and the students who followed in their minibus. We also appreciate the support provided by Mike Finch, the Sports Supervisor; Terry Cowley, the Gardener; Carrie, the Head Gardener; and John Langston, the Learning and Development Specialist. We are thrilled to receive feedback that the students were interested in pursuing a career at idverde.

If you would like to know more about our apprenticeship schemes, please do not hesitate to contact us at learning@idverde.co.uk.