From unemployment to apprenticeship

How the Future Gardeners programme has helped Grosvenor Britain & Ireland grow new talent.

How Grosvenor Britain & Ireland is growing new talent

Gareth Catherall was long term unemployed and struggling until he signed up for Bankside Open Spaces Trust’s free Future Gardeners course. As part of his course Gareth undertook work experience at Grosvenor Britain & Ireland and is now an apprentice in our Landscape Management team.

Andrew Maskell, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, said: “We are always looking for ways to open up access to careers in the real estate industry to a broad range of talent so that we more closely reflect the communities that we serve. Partnering with organisations like Bankside Open Spaces Trust are vital in introducing more people to our sector and the opportunities we can offer. We are delighted to welcome Gareth to Grosvenor and wish him every success in his apprenticeship.”

Bankside Open Spaces Trust’s Future Gardeners programme is designed for people who have been out of work or who struggle to access training or education. Having identified skills shortages within horticulture, the charity designed a scheme to help people to gain jobs in the sector. Today, over three quarters of those who finish the programme go on to employment in the industry. 

The Landscape Management team have a long-standing relationship with the Trust and have also been assisted the scheme through volunteering, CV and mock interview support.

Established in 1946, our Landscape Management team is the company’s oldest department with a significant tradition in nurturing young talent. Seven of its gardeners in the 10 strong team today were apprentices and Alyce Martini-Richards won the prestigious ‘Young Gardener’ award at London in Bloom in September 2019.

The team oversee all 25 acres of green spaces on Grosvenor’s London estate of Mayfair and Belgravia and contribute to a range of projects across the Group’s UK portfolio. They are also instrumental in aiding the business’ biodiversity, sustainability and innovation drives to meet its 2030 sustainability goals of being net zero carbon, zero waste and generating a significant biodiversity gain.

Recent innovations have included the installation of over 240 sustainability features across the estate including beehives, bird and bat boxes, parklets and green roofs. They also delivered the world’s first green lamp posts in Belgravia.

We offer careers across the full spectrum of the property industry from property investment, development and management to community engagement, and landscape management visit to find out more.

Notes to Editors

Future Gardeners

Future Gardeners is a free 10 week course open to all with no entry requirements. It is particularly aimed at the long term unemployed and those looking to make a change but who have struggled to access training or further education. It was devised by Bankside Open Spaces Trust with The Worshipful Company of Gardeners and the Royal Parks Guild.

Students undertake practical training, classroom study, work experience and receive careers advice. Students can gain a Level 2 City and Guilds Horticulture qualification. For further information on the programme, click here.

About Bankside Open Spaces Trust: 

Bankside Open Spaces Trust is a registered environmental charity working to protect, preserve and enhance parks, gardens and other amenities in London’s SE1 and surrounding areas. We aim to improve people’s lives by making where they live and work greener and more beautiful. 

We were set up in 2000 by Bankside residents with a drive to transform and protect their open spaces. People and communities are still at the heart of what we do. We welcome volunteers from both the community and the corporate sector. We run regular gardening groups, support park steering groups, organise and take part in public events and educational projects, and offer advice to others. We collaborate closely with local residents and businesses to champion green spaces. 

Thousands of people enjoy our open spaces every day. Each of our sites is unique, with its own atmosphere, identity and sense of place. Our spaces include Red Cross Garden, Marlborough Sports Garden, Waterloo Millennium Green and Tate Community Garden. Many are award-winning. We hold more than 32 awards, including the UNESCO Man and Biosphere award, London in Bloom Champion of Champions and the MPGA London Spade for our community gardening partnerships. 

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