Garden centre staff can now gain knowledge to help customers to deter and combat pests in a more natural, sustainable way via the GCA GROW (Garden Retail Online Workshops) e-Learning platform.
The organisation has launched its new Sustainable Pest Control course. Many gardeners, conscious of their impact on the environment, are choosing more environmentally friendly methods of pest prevention.
Antony Snow, GROW’s Instructional Designer, explains: “Following on from the recent, successful launch of Sustainable Disease Control, I’m thrilled to have added Sustainable Pest Control to our extensive course catalogue. It has been written to provide knowledge to help customers to minimise the chance of a pest outbreak through the careful planning of where to plant and good plant husbandry.
“Many gardeners choose to use synthetic controls to combat pests because they are effective, convenient and easy to use.
“However, as more and more customers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact they are having on the environment, many are choosing to adopt a more natural and sustainable approach to control the pests in their garden.”
GROW courses cover a wide range of vital topics to help employees gain confidence and knowledge about products and services. It’s so they can effectively assist any customers and colleagues who need help.
GCA Chief Executive, Peter Burks says: “We are fortunate that many garden centre customers are actively pursuing more sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to garden, so it’s very important we help staff to be able to advise them on successful ways of gardening without the use of synthetic chemicals.”
GROW courses are available to all GCA garden centre members and their teams. Also those at Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) garden centres.
Peter continues: “GROW is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, so people can log-in when it’s convenient for them. It’s a cost-effective way of providing staff training and personal development that enhances customer experience.
“Members have said it gives their staff confidence, as well as being an effective and essential training tool for them too.”
GROW started as an initial idea, devised during a strategy meeting of the GCA’s executive committee. It aims to bring education and training tailored to individuals employed in the garden centre industry.
It’s a self-funding and non-profit facility with any surpluses being reinvested into its ongoing development and improvement. Currently there are more than 100 courses and 12,000 plus users throughout the UK.
A selection of courses
These courses include a wide range of topics that cover horticulture, regulated sales and health and safety.
Experts in the fields have written all the courses. They are designed to apply to a garden centre environment, with the content for the horticultural courses drawing on experience of GCA members.
Peter concludes: “Anyone who would like more information about GROW and the courses we offer, please get in touch. We’ve details on our website www.gca.org.uk/gca-grow-information too and a dedicated email for people to contact us through as well: email@example.com.”
The GROW e-Learning facility is available to GCA member garden centres, as well as to HTA garden centre members too. The new course is accessible immediately to existing subscribers.