What can we do to help the Skills shortage in the landscape industry?
All over the world, there are more and more technical or really cool jobs and career paths that look like fun and have ever increasing salaries for skilled personnel. However, while these exciting careers are attractive to new recruits skills in sectors more rural and down to earth are suffering. Currently there is a growing skills shortage in the landscape industry thanks to people considering and choosing what seem like better employment opportunities and career path. What can we do to help the Skills shortage in the landscape industry?
The landscape industry and horticulture in general has seen a gradual decline is the numbers of skilled people entering the sector over the last decade or two. There are a number of factors that are associated with this, but how is the skills shortage overcome?
There is no panacea or magic pill to cure any skills shortage, times have changed new job and career paths open up all the time but this does not mean that the landscape industry should have to suffer. Training lies at the heart of the challenge and making the work look and feel rewarding with good opportunities is all part of the process too. The skills shortage is hitting the landscape industry in all areas from the companies that simply offer grounds maintenance to those that offer the design and build gardening or landscape services.
The route to reducing the skills shortage is training and to let potential landscape industry workers know there is current upswing in the sector.
Tell people more
Step one is to expose the industry to candidates and let them see what opportunities landscaping and allied industries offer. One will soon see that the landscape industry is more than just pushing a lawnmower. The work in the landscape industry is far more diverse than many imagine. One only has to switch on TV on a Saturday afternoon and there are hundreds of sports grounds with football, rugby, cricket and other sports being played. All these sports need someone to maintain the fields and that means they need skilled landscaping personnel. Schools need people to manage grounds as do hospitals and many other public places.
The landscape industry really makes the world around us look amazing. Without the expertise of those look after the plants, lawns and spaces around us the world we live in would be quite a mess. And then of course there are the private gardens, golf courses and highways and byways. The landscape industry keeps a lot of the UK alive and happy. The landscape industry is perfect for those who are creative.
Promote Training on a better knowledge of the industry
Training and creating the skills in the landscape industry is the real key to reducing the skills shortage. Training that includes theory and practical, ideally with on the job experience. Many students who have studied anything related to the landscape industry will vouch for the fact that practical experience alongside the studies is vital. Depending on the direction taken in the industry and the level of training of education desired combining studies with work is often easily made possible.
Apprenticeships are back and these are always the very best form of skills training. Just like plumbers, electricians and carpenters the landscape industry offers these. In many cases, the student can be trained and educated while earning and in some cases earn and have the studies paid for.
The right skills in the right college
Schools and colleges need to drive the fact that the landscape industry is a growing industry; it always should be if you think just how broad it is. Pushing a positive message and then having colleges offering innovative and good quality training is what needs to happen to bring the unskilled in to become skilled. The skills taught are often skills handed down over the generations in some instances but bringing in the use of technology and taking landscaping away from the perceived “country yokel” image is the way forward.
Anyone entering the landscaping industry should be excited and proud and the better colleges are now making this happen with some exceptionally well trained and enthusiastic landscape industry workers.