Apprentice sowing the seeds of success
The seeds of success have been sown for a Malvern man who has joined a growing plant centre as their first apprentice.
Aidan Stark is putting down the roots of a future career by joining husband and wife team Rachael and Andy Mahy to support the expansion of Wykeham Gardens based at Crowcroft House Farm in Leigh Sinton.
The 17-year-old is studying for a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Horticulture at Pershore College while also learning a range of skills within the nursery from pricking out and potting up to selling to the public. He will also be going out on site to learn about the garden design side of the business including how to create and plant up a whole new garden from scratch.
Aidan chose to do an apprenticeship after originally studying a music course at college before deciding he wanted to pursue a career outdoors.
He said: “This area of work is not something I have done before but I’m enjoying it and I’m really glad to have been given the chance to learn something new.”
Malvern Hills District Council provided support to the business to take on Aidan through its Apprenticeship Grant Scheme. The scheme provides a grant of £1,000 to help with training costs.
Rachael said: “We set up Wykeham Gardens two years ago as a garden design and maintenance business but then started growing our own plants for sale at regional markets. This proved really successful and the plant centre has begun to gain in popularity so we needed some support to continue to expand.
“We’re really pleased with the progress Aidan has been making and the training he’s received from Pershore College. The grant we received from Malvern Hills District Council was gratefully received and helped us cover some of the costs of taking on an apprentice.”
Cllr David Chambers, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: “We’re committed to boosting apprenticeships to help our businesses fill the skills gap so they can continue to grow but also to support the future of our young people. You don’t have to go to university to be successful, there is a real alternative.”
To find out more about apprenticeships and the opportunities available visit www.worcsapprenticeships.org.uk or call Christine Butler, Economic Development Officer, on 01684 862183.
Wykeham Gardens Plant Centre is open Thursdays to Sundays. For more information visit www.wykehamgardens.com or call 01684 578381.