We speak to 18-year old George Banister, apprentice at Greenwolds Plant Centre
Having left school I wasn’t too sure as to what my career route should be. I joined up to Newcastle College and originally set out on a photography course, but it wasn’t for me.
I was given an option to find out about horticulture by doing 100 hours work experience at Greenwolds Plant Centre. I was lucky enough to get taken on as a member of staff when the placement finished. Once I realised I enjoyed working with plants, I found out about the apprenticeship scheme at Kirkley Hall College and Fiona and Adam, the owners of Greenwolds Plant Centre, thought it was a good idea and are pleased to support me through my training.
I now work with the team five days a week at this time of year, with one day based at the college. I have to say that my role at Greenwolds is ‘blooming great’. I really enjoy being customer facing, learning how to pot plants, build hanging baskets as well as learning lots of tips from the experts!
The theoretical work that I study for at college is put to use within the plant centre. I study the different soil and plant types and can identify them within my day-to-day role. We document our learning via a series of work books and at the moment I am learning about health and safety and using the correct PPE.
Once every eight weeks I also get a visit from the college to check on my progress. Horticulture is now a great love of mine and something that I definitely want to progress with. One of the modules I particularly enjoy is landscape architecture and this is the area that I would like to get into in the future.
Fiona Greenwold, said: “We are really pleased at how George has taken to the apprenticeship programme and can see how he puts his new learning into practice on a daily basis. He’s doing a great job!”