Writtle College FE Horticulture Lecturer Ben Wincott was one of the panellists at a seminar for industry professionals.
Ben was asked a host of questions about recruitment and employment as the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) Networking Seminar analysed how colleges are providing learners and graduates with the skillset the industry needs.
The seminar was hosted by Mark Gregory, chairman of APL, who has built numerous show gardens. Alongside Ben were panellists from two other colleges as well as UK Skills. Representatives from local landscaping companies in Tiptree and Holland on Sea were among those in the audience.
Ben spoke about how Writtle College courses have evolved to reflect the changes in the industry, with FE students offered the chance to undertake practical work for real-life clients – from the College’s own property department to local schools - and build entries for top shows.
Current work includes landscaping an area of the College’s driveway and building a pond and outdoors classroom at Kings Road Primary School, Chelmsford, which pupils will use for pond-dipping and lessons about nature. Level 3 Horticulture students at the College will soon start work on their entry for the Young Gardeners of the Year competition at the Ideal Home Show, in which Writtle College won a gold medal last year.