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Arts and the Great Outdoors Apprentices

Green Space Apprentices

Jake Kane's story:

An apprenticeship in Horticulture at Bexleyheath Secondary school appealed to me for 2 reasons: my love of working with young people and my love for gardening.  This apprenticeship was the perfect way capture my preferences as it gives me the opportunity to build on the level 1 sports leadership qualification I achieved after leaving school and learn more about gardening and landscaping.  The school promote different ways of learning for some of their pupils who have social and emotional aspects of learning and I have been involved working in the garden with some of them.

Since starting my apprenticeship in Autumn 2010 I have experienced a huge range of tasks with the help of my supervisor John Butterworth.  Some of my favourite activities have been planning and starting to build a maze; planting vegetable and flower seeds; learning how to do cuttings and propagate plants; working on the nature garden and pond and starting to prepare an orchard which will hopefully have bees!  I have recently been given sole responsibility to plan a “secret garden”.  This is something I am eager to get started with.  My less favourite time is when it is tipping down with rain or the ground was covered in snow.

I attend Hadlow College and am working towards an NVQ Level 2 in Horticulture and Landscaping.  I’ve successfully passed machinery and maintenance and planting and pruning courses.  The tutor visits and assesses me in the workplace.

I think of the apprenticeship as a passion; I love coming to work and every day is different.  It is so rewarding watching the garden grow and see this kind of work bring the best out of some of the young pupils of the school.  We are about to undertake a charity project where we are growing potatoes in buckets.

Future challenges I face are dealing with suppliers and perfecting the business and financial side of running the garden.  Long term I hope to aspire to learning as much as I can, having a landscape business and teaching horticulture.

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