Perennial training initiatives help horticulture careers grow

Lack of financial support for training can be one of the biggest barriers to entering a career in horticulture, according to national horticulture charity Perennial. With horticultural careers being promoted as one of the main themes of this year’s National Gardening Week (15 – 21 April), Perennial highlights the range of training initiatives it offers to help young people pursuing a career in horticulture.

Through the Lironi Training Fund [add link to Education and Training section], Perennial has created various opportunities specifically for students, and in some cases people already working in horticulture, who are in need of financial support for training.

Richard Capewell, Chief Executive of Perennial, comments:

“The horticulture industry is facing a future skills shortage, so it is vital that we invest in the future of the industry by encouraging the next generation to choose horticulture as a career. Many young people simply don’t know the options open to them and in the current economic climate, are finding it more and more difficult to finance their training. We want both to open the door for young people considering a career in horticulture and encourage people already studying or working in horticulture, who find themselves in difficulty, to carry on in this industry.”



Support is available in the form of Hardship Bursaries for students facing unforeseen difficulty whose studies have been jeopardised by the effects of death, disease or disaster. There are also Sons and Daughters Bursaries available to full-time horticultural students who are the sons or daughters of horticulturists. Working in a low-paid industry, horticulturists often find it difficult to support their children’s training, and these bursaries help them to do this.


“A talented student, Amy was accepted onto a two year Horticultural Diploma at a renowned land based college and was progressing well when personal tragedy struck. Overnight Amy lost her financial security and her home. The college immediately supplied emergency accommodation, but with no independent income there was no money for other essentials such as food and travel. Perennial were pleased to award a Hardship Bursary to Amy, who through very difficult circumstances remains committed to her course and a career in horticulture.”


Grant Awards for Short Courses

These grants are aimed at those who require additional qualifications or training in order to progress their career in horticulture, for example horticulturists seeking funding to gain a chainsaw licence or a pesticide certificate, or to attend a specialist seminar or conference.


Matthew Bufton of Bristol Zoo Gardens was granted an award to attend the World Association of Zoological Horticulture Conference in Florida.”


Retraining for Horticulturists in Hardship

This important fund assists in the training or re-training of long-term career horticulturists looking to regain suitable employment within the industry or to pursue alternatives following adverse circumstances such as an accident or ill health.