With National Apprenticeship Week upon us, we wanted to shed some light on what it’s like to be a CityFibre apprentice....
- Manage the growing and selling of plants either commercially or in public parks and gardens
- You'll learn about how plants grow and are managed, along with business skills
- Hours can be long, and there may be early starts
As a horticultural manager, you'll manage the business of plant cultivation and maintenance for any of the following: a commercial horticulture company producing ornamental plants for sale to wholesalers, retailers, nurseries, garden centres and the public; a garden centre that produces plants (and stocks related products) for sale to the public; a park or public garden where you could be responsible for the design, construction and upkeep of planted areas; or a company that produces fruit and vegetables for sale to wholesalers or retailers.
- Preparing and updating operational and business plans
- Keeping records and managing budgets and accounts
- Analysing costs
- Developing new products and markets
- Negotiating with suppliers
- Designing layouts and developing planting programmes
- Scheduling the planting and harvesting of crops
- Managing pest, disease and weed control programmes
- Making sure health and safety regulations and procedures are followed
- Recruiting and managing a skilled and trained workforce
Your working hours will vary according to the season and could include weekends and public holidays. Early starts are common. You could be office-based or at a garden centre, and you might be outdoors some of the time.
For this role, you'll need knowledge of biology, manufacturing production and processes; business management, customer service and analytical thinking skills; the ability to manage staff and sell products and services; and excellent verbal communication skills.
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject such as horticulture and management, commercial horticulture, or horticulture and plant science.
You can also work towards this role by doing a college course in subjects relating to horticulture.
An advanced apprenticeship as a horticulture supervisor may also enable you to get into this role.
You could work your way into this role by starting as a horticultural worker and applying for promotion once you've got more experience and qualifications.
Some large companies have management graduate training schemes.
Once in this role, you could also complete The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Master of Horticulture qualification, if you have the RHS Level 3 Diploma or equivalent and at least 4 years of experience.
You could move to a senior management position or set up your own nursery or garden centre.