Engaging a New Generation in the Horticultural Industry

Over the past 30 years, the skills shortage has become greater in the industry, with fewer people entering the industry and an ageing workforce. The UK horticultural industry is growing and there are opportunities for people from all age groups and backgrounds within it.

Blue Star Gardens

We are always proactive and enthusiastic about training our employees. 

All of our drivers and garden managers are trained or are training to The Royal Horticultural Society Level 2 standard or equivalent and above. They all have a passion for learning and work tirelessly to provide the best service.

We have also recently taken on an apprentice, where we provide them with professional development and a kickstart to their career in horticulture.

Our apprentice, Jack, is on the Landscape Operative Course – Level 2, which covers planning and maintaining large gardens, parks and other green spaces. Whilst Jack is doing his apprenticeship with us, he is also at least 20% of his time at college, working hard to achieve his qualification. At the end of the 2 years, he will have an End Point Assessment (EPA), which is both practical and exam based.

All of our staff are employed directly by us. This gives you peace of mind that our team always works together to ensure we provide the best advice, service, and care all year round.

Skills shortage

‘There is a growing crisis that is threatening our economy, environment, and food security. This is the increasing lack of people joining the sector and the skills shortage that it brings. Last year the horticultural industry decided to do something about it and Horticulture Matters was born.’ Horticulture Matters, Sue Biggs.

For years, the horticultural industry has seen the effects of the younger generation having a misconception of the industry. 

In May 2013 ‘70% of 18-year-olds believed that horticultural careers should only be considered by people who have ‘failed academically’’ Horticulture Matters Report.

Since then, the Horticulture Matters industry group set out what actions were needed to save UK Horticulture.

  1. Promote Horticulture across Government
  2. Embed Horticulture in education
  3. Promote and support training

The horticultural sector values work-based and academic qualifications, meaning we need to promote horticultural training opportunities. 

Between 2013 and 2014, Horticulture Matters promised to promote apprenticeship opportunities, create more apprenticeships, and encourage more take-up of horticulture courses.

Young gardener raising seedlings in heated frames.

Horticulture industry worth £24 billion

‘Despite ornamental horticulture supporting 568,700 jobs, generating a £24.2 billion GDP footprint and £5.4 billion in revenue for HM Government in 2017, the industry has been largely ignored and receives little direct support or fiscal incentives. Yet it delivers exceptional public value in terms of the environmental benefit it provides to the nation.’ Protecting the future of horticulture.

With this vital information, we need to work hard on making sure the younger generation know the benefits of working in the horticulture industry.

Improving perception

We need to improve the perception of horticulture and revert the public’s poor view of what a career in horticulture can offer. ‘We must work together to inform and inspire potential career entrants, to show that Horticulture is an exciting, rewarding career to be proud of.’ Horticulture Matters.

Choose Us

Interested in how we can maintain and improve your communal garden? Give our friendly team a call on 07703562081 and we’ll be happy to have a chat with you to see how we can improve the outdoor space you have.

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138 Western Road
West Sussex


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