Simon’s gardening career fell into place with our help

Career changer Simon was in his 50s when he made a big decision to return to his first love of gardening. He left his job as a teacher, worked his way up to lead gardener, sold his house and relocated to take up a traineeship.

With an RHS Level 2 qualification already behind him, he was excited to further his new career with a traineeship at a heritage garden. Simon wanted to find employment in this area, but to do so he needed machinery skills on his CV. He wouldn’t get hired without them and was struggling to raise the £1,000 course money. 

“After my traineeship finished, I set up as a self-employed gardener in my hometown where I lived with a friend. I really wanted to be employed but I couldn’t get past the interview stage without my machinery certificates, and I couldn’t afford to get them. Work was quiet so I was barely earning and only just getting by on Jobseeker’s Allowance. I was starting to think my new career choice was a bad idea. It was at that point that I gave Perennial a call and things turned around for me.” 

“I wasn’t sure I’d be able to access training support from Perennial and was so thankful when they provided financial help and a caseworker; between us, we worked it all out. I was nervous about taking on an intense and physically demanding course and asked if I could do it in two parts. My caseworker was helpful and understanding of my needs. She negotiated my course timings and ensured that I was doing the course in two stages, without incurring any additional equipment hire fees.” 

We helped Simon access the training he needed and liaised with his training provider to negotiate his course structure and additional personal protective equipment (PPE) fee. 

“I knew that once I had machinery certificates on my CV, I was likely to get hired. That turned out to be the case because here I am now employed as a groundsman for a fabulous landscape. The training and support that I received from Perennial changed my life and helped my career to fall in place. Without any doubt, it clinched the interview and got me my dream job. Thanks to their help, I’m exactly where I want to be.” 

Calling us was the turning point in Simon’s life that secured his career. We’re still in touch. He’s happy living with his friend and doing well.  

If you, or someone you know needs help, find out more about Perennial’s free and confidential services for anyone who has worked, or works in the horticulture sector in the UK. This includes gardeners, nursery owners and workers, garden designers, landscapers, arborists, foresters, garden centre staff, commercial growers, turf maintenance specialists and many more. 

Call us free in confidence on 0800 093 8543 or complete our Services Contact Form for help.