Horticulture & Landscape Supervisor - Level 3 Apprenticeship

Writtle University College are excited to be rolling out the new Horticulture and Landscape Supervisor Apprenticeship Standard, which has been specifically designed by employers to meet the needs of industry and provide you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in your industry.

Working and learning in the horticulture and landscape industries is rewarding, offers a diverse range of employment opportunities and includes a range of skills that are transferable into other industries following further studies.

The Horticulture and Landscape Supervisor Apprenticeship provides a blend of practical hands on skills with the underpinning knowledge. The apprentice will choose a specialised occupational pathway from horticulture or landscape construction. The horticulture option focuses on plant propagation and plant growth, while landscape construction option focuses on the installation of features and structures, application of landscape materials and site management.

At the end of the Apprenticeship you will be required to complete an independent End-Point Assessment to prove you have gained the required skills to achieve the Apprenticeship.

You will:

  • Work in your chosen industry for a minimum of 30 hours per week.
  • Get paid a minimum of the Apprenticeship Wage.
  • Study in a flexible way.
  • Be assessed and graded with either a pass, merit or distinction at the end of your programme by an Independent Assessment Organisation.
  • If you do not have a GCSE Grade 4 (C Grade) in Maths and English you will complete Functional Skills in English and Maths or there is the option to study for Maths and English GCSE (depending on previous qualifications).
  • Complete work-related tasks and assessments.
  • Receive mentoring visits in your workplace from your Writtle University College Training Officer, who will provide support, assess and review your progress.

Course Content

The apprentice will select either the horticulture or landscape construction specialised occupational pathway.

Examples of core knowledge and skills gained on completion of the Horticulture & Landscape Supervisor Apprenticeship.

Core knowledge:

Industry understanding
The importance and benefits of green-space and different types of horticultural management appropriate to different sites.

Project processes, planning work scheduling and requirements to meet specification, working to a budget. Business operations and the impact of decisions, individual and team performance on commercial success. Have an awareness of the commercial environment including competitors and suppliers.

The importance of clear and unambiguous communication appropriate to different audiences. The application of different forms of communication aids and their use. Customer care; how to identify client/customer, understanding their needs and facilitating relations to progress business success. Managing teams to deliver customer service. The impact of customer care on the organisation.

How to communicate with a team and provide work instructions. How to manage a team’s performance and provide feedback to team members and managers. Utilising communication and an understanding of people to work collaboratively and increase productivity and safety.

Health and safety
Obligations for managing safely; health, safety, quality, environmental (HSQE) and welfare issues within a business and on site. Knowing how to identify potential hazards and manage the risks to fully comply with legislation and industry practice.

Waste hazards and waste reduction/recycling and environmental best practice. Impact of horticultural management on the environment. Protection of environment in each particular task.

Plant growth and development
Plant nutrition and plant requirements. The principles of germination, photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration (the science of growth). How to manage plants correctly in different environments. The relationship between environmental conditions and plant growth and associated management.

Tools, equipment and machinery
Safe and correct operation and maintenance of tools and equipment commonly used in horticulture e.g. hand held, pedestrian and ride on in order to supervise work teams. Knowledge of requirements for purchase, hire or lease of such equipment and appropriate instruction to workers before use.

Vegetation control
Vegetation and methods of site clearance and removal of vegetation. Biosecurity; identification, prevention and control measures for pests and diseases on work sites. The identification and control of invasive alien species through supervision work methods. Reporting procedures.

Plant identification and classification;
Plant identification by scientific names including genus, species and cultivar. Knowing why and how plants are identified. Know if plants are incorrectly labelled and how to use reference material to confirm identification.

Soils & growing media
Soils, growing media, compost and mulches and their management and assessment.

Plant health
Pest & disease identification/symptoms and control methods required on horticultural sites.

Protection of biodiversity and heritage
Habitat and historic value of horticultural sites, awareness of protected species and landscapes and procedures to follow.

Assess, repair and maintain hard structures
Daily management of hard structures, hazards associated with failure / damage and maintenance regimes.

Core skills:

Supervise a project including project processes, planning and specification. Proactively solve practical problems by using experience and judgement to make decisions. Be adaptable to different priorities, environments, conditions and technologies.

Facilitating effective communication with others, including clients, the public and colleagues, this will require IT systems use.

Customer care
Manage client's expectations and requirements. Customers might include the public, commercial clients or private homeowners.

Team working
Apply effective time management, resource management and support effective team working.

People management
Undertake team management and motivation, work prioritisation, problem-solving and resource deployment within a team.

Health and safety
Implement and maintain a positive safety culture within a team, understand and implement safe systems of work and comply with relevant legislation.

Implement environmental protection requirements in each particular task e.g. supplying spill kits and ensuring use.

Plant growth and development
Care for plants correctly in different environments, including irrigation, nutrition, pruning and identifying plant deficiencies. Troubleshoot problems and implement corrective management regimes.

Tools, equipment and machinery
Carry out selection appraisals. Ability to instruct operatives on correct techniques/tool use. Responsibility for tools, equipment and machinery on site.

Vegetation control
Supervise processes and methods of site clearance, tools and machinery for pruning and vegetation control. Undertake weed control methods and correct pruning practice for a range of trees, shrubs & perennials.

Cultivate and improve soils by mechanical methods and by hand. Analyse soil- related problems and implement corrective management regimes.

Plant health
Identify and respond to threats to plant health.

Assess and maintain hard structures
Supervise the maintenance of structures relevant to the business activities and context of the site e.g. historic or environmental designations. Understand manufacturers recommended inspection regimes.

Site presentation
Develop a work plan to achieve a specified finish.

Tree safety
Identify basic tree health threats and hazards.

Further details on the course content can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education website.

What are the progression options?

After completing the level 3 Apprenticeship, our Apprentices have the option to continuing study by progressing in to Higher Education or alternatively the Apprentice can progress in to full time employment within the industry.

Depending on whether you choose the horticulture or landscape construction pathway, this employment would likely be in the following type of job roles:

  • Gardener
  • Gardener and Soft Landscaper
  • Grounds Maintenance Supervisor
  • Landscape Gardener
  • Landscaper
  • Hard Landscape Installer
  • Landscape Team Leader

How do I apply?

An apprentice needs to be in paid employment, so whilst you can apply for the Apprenticeship before you find an employer, you'll need to be employed before you can start the course. Many of our Apprentices already worked or volunteered for the companies who then decide to support them through their Apprenticeship. Our employers range from large local authorities and national contractors to micro companies. We are always happy to provide your employers with the information they need regarding potentially employing an Apprentice and can offer advice, however small or large businesses may be.

I don't have an employer

If you are interested in becoming an Apprentice, but don't have an employer please visit our website for tips on how to find an employer and to see a list of our current Apprenticeship vacancies.

I have an employer

If you have secured or are already in relevant paid employment with an employer willing to support you through the apprenticeship please complete the application form.