Michaela: Gardening apprentice on Horticulture or Landscape Operative level 2

Published : Mon 6th Feb

Michaela wanted to learn more about Horticulture and completing the level 2 apprenticeship will allow her to learn as she works within the beautiful gardens at Cliveden.

Why did you choose that specific apprenticeship?

When choosing to apply for the apprenticeship at Cliveden, it gave me the opportunity to find my niche in horticulture by offering me the skills that I needed to kick start my horticultural career. Being fresh to the scene of gardening I decided that this was an excellent course to start with, giving me the knowledge and confidence to eventually offer me other opportunities in the future.

Was there any decision between the apprenticeship route and any other route?

There was a possibility to study the RHS Level 2 online or at a college however, as living prices are going up the apprenticeship was a perfect all-rounder solution. Giving me on-the-job work experience, able to work in a team of experienced gardeners, and being paid a salary to fund living expenses. Adding to this, National Trust have funded me to attend training days, garden visits, and 5 volunteer days per year to work at any other garden; being able to meet new people and see how other gardens are run.

What has been your proudest achievement on your apprenticeship to date?

There are so many skills I have learned, ranging from use of machinery, driving tractor trailers to different types of propagation, leadership skills, designing planting schemes. I learned so much after only a few months of being at Cliveden, and now as my apprenticeship is coming to an end later in the coming year, I feel that I have gained so much confidence and drive to push myself toward new learning possibilities.

How do you see your apprenticeship helping you in your career progression?

This apprenticeship covers a wide range of skills that I have learnt over the duration of my course. I have met many great gardeners and keen horticulturists within this field, including my fellow National Trust apprentices, and I can feel the support within this industry. Having worked in a historical garden also gives me a different perspective on why and how we conserve our environment, and this has made me more passionate about my job and the importance of horticulture.

What would your advice be to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

Do it! I am so glad that I took this step to beginning my new career. I was nervous taking the step to begin something brand new, as I had the impression that apprenticeships were for people fresh out of GCSEs and felt that I would be rushing to learn something new. I am astonished at how much I have learned in so little time – and with horticulture, you will always be learning.