Tong Garden Centre takes on first apprentice

A Bradford garden centre has appointed its first apprentice. The people and culture team at Tong Garden Centre has partnered with Shipley College to bring in 16-year-old Alfie Taylor as a plants apprentice.

Alfie attends college one day a week to study for a Level 2 Horticulture and Landscape Operative qualification and works four days a week with the plants team at the Tong Lane centre.

Of the appointment, head of people and culture, Neil Barwise-Carr said: “We were conscious that we needed people in our plants team who are excited and passionate about working with plants, so we thought what better than to bring in someone who is eager and enthusiastic about learning, not just from college, but from those around them?

“We’ve noticed, in just a few days, that the rest of the team are enthused by having an apprentice on board, who they can help coach and mentor along the way. Hopefully this will pave the way for more apprentices in other areas of the business.”

Former Morley Academy pupil Alfie said: “I’m grateful to be given this opportunity. Apprenticeships are a great way to put what you learn at college into practice in a work situation and to gain from the expertise of the team. I’m really excited to be working at Tong.”

The People and Culture team has also supported another member of the plants team, Matthew Inman with a Level 3 qualification in Horticultural Practice and Principles and is currently in talks with Leeds College about joinery apprenticeship opportunities for its maintenance assistant.

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