Finding qualified horticulturalists still comes with its challenges.
The job title generally reads, Gardener or Landscaper as Horticulturalist can conjure up someone with many years of experience and a member of the RHS, but whatever the title, the industry is still struggling to recruit.
Back in 2014, a collaborative report was produced identifying the impending crisis in UK Horticulture, because of the threats to the economy, the environment and food security. The main contributors to the report were The Royal Horticultural Society, The Charters Institute of Horticulture, the Horticulture Trade Association, Lantra (the land-based training representative organisation) Back then the research highlighted the need to work closer with young people coming through school as the majority surveyed felt that jobs in Horticulture (gardening) were for those who were less academic. It also showed that 72% of firms were unable to fill live vacancies.
We are now almost 10 years on from that report and the industry is still having to work hard to encourage new entrants to the sector. It’s not just gardening and food production, the land-based industry is struggling to recruit to farming, both arable and animal, we are still short by nearly 10,000 arboriculturists (tree surgeons) and now with global warming, we have a rise in the number of vineyards in the UK, with now over 900 vineyards covering 10,000 acres. And the wine is now considered good, if you are a wine drinker you will be interested to read the UK won over 123 awards in the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2023, but finding experienced viticulturists in the UK is a challenge as we don’t have the history of winemaking and Brexit has impacted our ability to recruit from the EU.
Most gardeners who work in the commercial world will now have to have experience in gardening, sports pitches, municipal golf course management, mowing and pruning, they will have had to be qualified in the use of fertilisers and spraying as well as needing a driving licence, and if they want to move up into management may need experience in parks and estate management. We find many employers are willing to invest in upskilling new entrants to help with staff retention.
If you are looking to recruit in the land based sector talk to one of our team today.