Author Topic: How do I get into it?  (Read 16886 times)

wahaj

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2006, 22:24:01 »
Hi where are you situated.

Im doing the course at a college in Leeds and it means tested on your annual income, so if you earn less than a certain amount and can show proof you may qualify for some type of waiver.

The course is pretty intense and I am so glad that I have taken the option of doing it in a classroom situation, learn a heck of alot more through discussion than I would sat looking at paperwork. Suppose everyone has their own learning style/ preference though.

hope it works out in the end for you.

trina

thanks :)

there's is a college nearby that does it. It's moulton college near northampton. But it'd cost me a fortune to get back and forth. and the main problem is that the course is one night a week, 7-9. there are no buses back at that time. so it's not really an option.

and yea i agree...it's so much more helpful to learn in a class.

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2006, 22:24:01 »

Garden Manager

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2006, 18:50:03 »
I too have been looking to get into horticulture as a career. I love working with plants and gardening, and would love to work in a big estate garden.

I started off a few years ago doing a couple of college courses (self funded out of savings - hoped resulting work would help replace the money). However since finishing I have been unable to find suitable work, though not through want of trying. Was reluctant to go down the 'jobbing gardener' route as i wanted job security and a regular income. Nothing localy so expanded search to further afield - deciding i f i had to relocate to find the right job then so be it. Still nothing. Seems as if for all the qualifications you hold without the right sort of work experience employers just arent intersted. Creating and working in your own/parents garden for nothing and gaining loads of gardening expereince in the process, just is not enough it seems to persuade employers to give you a try.

So I have continued to apply for jobs, whilst doing oither things to earn an income, continuing to gain gardening experience in my own garden - just in case! Come the new year I will be looking again at becoming a 'jobbing' gardener. That of course will require some investment in equipment, which I may not be able to afford.

Never mind i am sure I will get there in the end. My advice would be, if you want it, go for it.

wahaj

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2006, 12:12:15 »
thanks cadet. yea i know what you mean....its like that with a lot of stuff really, but as you very well know.....without someone giving you a chance, you cant really get any experience, without as you say, becoming a jobbing gardener.

and unless you have recognisable qualifications like the RHS courses to degree level, i doubt its going to mean much.

but yea, i think i'll try and have a go at it again in the new year.

fluffygrue

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2007, 22:36:34 »
and unless you have recognisable qualifications like the RHS courses to degree level, i doubt its going to mean much.but yea, i think i'll try and have a go at it again in the new year.

Just my 2p, but I've completed year 1 of the course, and can honestly say I learned nothing. You read the A4A forums regularly, so I reckon you already know more than the Level 2 course will teach you. I'd only consider doing the course if you really think it'll help you get a job at the end of it. :)

wahaj

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2007, 18:09:57 »
and unless you have recognisable qualifications like the RHS courses to degree level, i doubt its going to mean much.but yea, i think i'll try and have a go at it again in the new year.

Just my 2p, but I've completed year 1 of the course, and can honestly say I learned nothing. You read the A4A forums regularly, so I reckon you already know more than the Level 2 course will teach you. I'd only consider doing the course if you really think it'll help you get a job at the end of it. :)

oh yea definately...that's what i meant. i'm sure i know most of the stuff in the course.....but it's just what's on paper that counts sometimes.

fluffygrue

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2007, 10:38:50 »
oh yea definately...that's what i meant. i'm sure i know most of the stuff in the course.....but it's just what's on paper that counts sometimes.

*nodnod* It's quite frustrating. You could also give calling your local-ish colleges a go to see if they'd let you sit the exams as an external candidate. Only one near here would let me, and it would've still cost me £50 to sit the second exam, but you might find your nearby colleges are more helpful. Buy the big red book 'Handbook for Horticultural Students', sit the exams, and that'd be a pretty cheap way of doing things.. :)

Garden Manager

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2007, 20:10:50 »
This is the problem I think with horticulture as well as many other proffessions. Too much emphasis on having the right bits of paper (qualifications) and less on actual practical knowledge and the ability to do the job. Then employers STILL want proof of experience, which if you are fresh out of college you justdont have - because the college courses concentrate on the academic theory rather than the practical side.

With the gardening expereince i have i could probably be able to to the job of a senior gardener at some big estate garden, yet without proof that i could do the job, i wouldnt stand a chance if i applied for such a job,

What horticulture needs is a return to the apprenticeships of old, where you realy did earn as you learn, and gained the experience and qualifications you needed to pursue a career in the industry.

OK I'll get of the soapbox now dont worry! ;)

wahaj

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2007, 20:28:09 »
nah i agree with you cadet. i wish i had someone that i did gardening with every day and learnt about the job as i did it and got paid for it. but yea....loads of places require experience before you can get into it.

the best example is Human Resources in any company. Any time you see any HR position, regardless of what role in the department it is, you can't get the jobs without experience. Yet no one will give you the chance to gain that experience....and there's no qualification you can get to get the job either. it seems it's a very select group of people who get the job....and they probably have to be in the company before they get it.

and yea fluffygrue, i did look into local colleges....i haven't had any job as the nearest one that does a gardening course is out of my reach transportation wise.

SMP1704

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2007, 23:49:30 »
the best example is Human Resources in any company. Any time you see any HR position, regardless of what role in the department it is, you can't get the jobs without experience. Yet no one will give you the chance to gain that experience....and there's no qualification you can get to get the job either.

Can't comment on the horticultural quals but I can about HR (been there, done that)  Best way is to start off with the Certificate in Personnel Practice and then progress to graduate member status of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.  Most people who work their way up start off in an admin role. Those with a degree and CPP as a min might start in an HR Officer/Advisor role, but depends on the organisation, alot want part CIPD as well.

Most HR departments are getting smaller, which is why there are so few vacancies and why employers can be very choosy....

Ceratonia

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2007, 11:48:49 »
Most HR departments are getting smaller, which is why there are so few vacancies and why employers can be very choosy....

I had the opposite impression, which was that there are many more HR people required these days, to comply with the larger amount of regulation on employers.

Anyway. Few discussion points for Wahaj & Garden Cadet.

- The RHS General certificate (level 2).  I sometimes browse the jobs pages in the various nursery/horticulture/landscaping trade press. I hardly ever see RHS qualifications specified as a requirement. Agree with fluffygrue's comments that anyone reasonably intelligent with some gardening knowledge could pass it by buying a couple of books and applying themselves.

I've seen the RHS course material for HCC and frankly I'd be unhappy at having paid more than £20 for it, rather than the few hundred they charge. You can often pick up old versions on ebay for not much. I can't comment on the quality of their tutors, which I guess is what you're paying for.

I did the course at a local college evening class. One tutor was good, the other was hopeless, but what made the class good was the other people doing the course - a real mix of ages and reasons for doing it. I'm sure someone who'd been looking for a job out of it would have made a lot of useful contacts.

- In terms of working as a self-employed "jobbing gardener", I suggest a look at Paul Power's book "How to start your own gardening business" - it's a well written description of do's and don'ts.

- There are plenty of websites offering detailed advice about getting into the landscaping/horticulture industries. I'll post a few URLs later. The impression I get (certainly around Cambridge/London) is that the industry is desperately short-staffed and finding it very hard to recruit young people (due largely to low pay I suppose), other than from eastern europe.

Hex

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2007, 20:46:56 »
I am a HR person still, and there are fewer entry level jobs about for generalists - lots of companies saving money by outsourcing or palming work off on line managers.  Lots of graduates keen to get in with no experience and no qualifications.  Pay to get part qualified, get lucky and someone will give you a chance - that is how I did it.  Not cheap, but has serious financial returns after a few years.  Cert Personnel Practice is c£500 and will get you into a HR Admin role if you are lucky. 

Gardening quals - my former neighbour worked in a few of the local garden centres (owned by Wyevale), she had her NVQs and plenty of experience, and was on 50p an hour more than minimum wage.  She then went to work for a local specialist and has bought into the business, which finally has given her some financial return.  Try talking to local careers people about modern apprenticeship route.  Unfortunately your GCSEs may count against you in funding terms, as you already hold an NVQ II equiv qualification.  Try and bulk up your cv by doing some voluntary stuff - eg helping a local school with building a garden etc.

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.

willawiz

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2007, 16:11:40 »
Hi

I'm a bit late into the discussion as I've not logged onto A4A for a few days.  There seem to be hurdles every way you turn.

I did have an idea which may or may not help. I'm involved with Nantwich in Bloom (a voluntary body) and we are always looking for people to help out in all sorts of areas.  Are there any local towns or villages involved in this RHS sponsored competition?  (Do a google for "in Bloom", usually there are details and contacts.)

I've found that voluntary bodies usually welcome any help, and enthusiastic and knowledgeable help will be a bonus for them.  They may also welcome ideas from new blood so you may have a chance to get some sort of experience and feedback.

As well as getting your hands dirty, you will no doubt meet people with similar interests to yourself.  As well as perhaps having the chance to get personally involved, you may meet people who could possibly help you.

For example, we are into biodiversity along the local river, wildflower meadows (wet and dry); planting beds, planting bulbs, organizing local competitions and fund raising events,  working with sponsors including local garden centres, and generally trying to improve the environment for the benefit of the community. 

I'd like to know how you get on if you do follow this up. :)


Good luck - Willawiz


wahaj

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2007, 19:27:51 »
sounds interesting willawiz. i'll definately look that up. i don't have time for this at the moment to be honest as i'm moving from one county to another....but once i'm settled in leicester....hopefully i'll look for info there. obiouvsly i'm assuming they may have cheaper courses in leicester aswell.

Hex

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Re: How do I get into it?
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2007, 20:10:47 »
wahaj - lots of gardening courses in Leics, plus I was in Stapleton garden c the other day (wyevale owned) and they had lots of jobs advertised, get in in any vaguely related job, work hard, then get moved into the bit you want to work in.

 

anything