Hillier has launched a variety of apprenticeships following the southern garden centre chain becoming an accredited Government Employer Training provider earlier this year as part of the company’s new Learning and Development department.
The new apprenticeships will offer students the opportunity to gain experience in a chosen field alongside their studies, with apprenticeships available in numerous departments at Hillier including: Horticulture, Hospitality, Supply Chain Operative, Retail, Customer service, and Management. The garden centre is also working with Pershore College to provide its Level 3 Crop Technician apprenticeship.
The apprenticeships available currently start from Level 2 and range in duration between 12 and 24 months. They are:
- Customer Service Practitioner – Level 2
- Retailer Apprenticeship – Level 2
- Retail Team Leader Apprenticeship – Level 3
- Team Leader/ Supervisor – Level 3
- Crop Technician Apprenticeship – Level 3
- Hospitality Team Member Apprenticeship – Level 2
- Production Chef Apprenticeship – Level 2
Hillier says it has already had many success stories with its apprenticeships, one of whom is George Bailey, who began his career at Hillier through work experience, before advancing to a Level 3 Crop Technician apprentice. Since completing his apprenticeship, George has gained the necessary skills to move into a professional grower role on the nursery. George says: “An apprenticeship with Hillier really enables you to enjoy hands on involvement right at the heart of the company. For anyone looking for an apprenticeship, Hillier is the place to be!”
Another Hillier apprentice who has progressed through the ranks is Toby Fielding who joined Hillier in 2015 as a general assistant and went on the complete the Retail Team Leader apprenticeship before taking on his current position of shop manager. Toby says: “The apprenticeship was instrumental in helping develop my managerial skills by teaching the knowledge as well as how to implement the skills in your current work environment. I plan to use the apprenticeship to continue my development towards being a garden centre manager and further develop the skills of my team.”
Emma Fell, head of learning and development at Hillier, says: “An apprenticeship at Hillier is the first step onto a road to success and can lead to a fantastic and fulfilling career. We’ve got some great examples of previous apprentices who have gone on to great things within the company, so it’s brilliant to now be able to offer this as an accredited provider. We are continuously expanding and innovating and therefore the opportunities at Hillier are endless as our business grows.”