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In recent years jobs within horticulture have been shunned in favour of higher paying other careers that seem to be full of more excitement. However, while this has been a trend of sorts, it has left the horticultural industry with a skills challenge. It was never a skills crisis, but it was nevertheless a challenge and schools, colleges and employers have all played their part in changing the landscape (excuse the pun) making 2018 a superb year for horticultural jobs and opportunities.

The one thing with horticulture is that the vast majority of work within the sector is manual. Basically, robots cannot do the work. Because of this, there will always be a need for qualified personnel. According to some sources, 2018 sits in the middle of a growth phase for the horticultural sector in the UK. There is a growth in DIY gardening, and with a tighter economy, people are looking to make the most of outdoor spaces domestically rather than paying for overseas holidays thus parks need more skilled staff. Both of these are positive trends in the horticultural sector.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) considers the horticultural sector buoyant despite the recent downturn in the economy. They make it clear that the challenge is the lack of young people entering the industry to fill many vacancies in a variety of positions, not the industry itself.  Scouting the internet one can clearly see the demand for people in the horticultural sector and one of thing that shouts out is apprenticeships.

Learning and earning through and apprenticeship makes an attractive option for youngsters entering the industry. For employers, it is an affordable way to secure dedicate, skilled and growable employees. For those looking to join the sector, an apprenticeship is a superb door to enter through that opens up many opportunities. It is clear that in 2018 there will be an upsurge in apprenticeships that will not just fill the skills gaps in horticulture but will stimulate the industry as a wise career choice.

There is, and always will be a demand for horticultural skills and while many will suggest the pay is low in the sector, it is balanced by the security of work.  There are many different avenues of work, and qualified horticulturalists can earn more pay, and the long-term future is positive. Brexit could well see a shortage of overseas workers in the sector, and this could create jobs for skilled people. In schools throughout the UK, there is a drive by the industry to make it an attractive career option.

The issue of pay has long been the negative issue that has turned people away from horticulture. Brexit, the value of the pound and a number of external factors started to wake the industry up in 2016/17  and employers have become acutely aware that they need to raise costs. Raising costs in the sector from nurseries to landscaping will gradually see a rise in pay that has been long overdue. 2018 looks like it will be the year when the process of raising costs begins and is thus a superb time to enter the industry.  Demand in the industry is currently high, and suppliers are now reviewing their approach to this.

There are a growing number of ways to study for a career in horticulture from online courses to short courses as well as apprenticeships. Studying and working at the same time is an attractive option and with the rise in both work and study opportunities, 2018 is the perfect year to start or enhance your career in horticulture.

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