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New Horticultural Apprenticeship Programme available

New Horticultural Apprenticeship Programme available

Are you Interested in an Apprenticeship in Horticulture? The Launch of the new Horticulture apprenticeship programme may be for you! Covering a range of different streams such as Fruit, Garden and Parks, Garden Centres Landscaping, Nursery and Vegetables.

A new Horticultural Apprenticeship Programme has been developed for those pursuing a career in the field or existing horticultural personnel seeking a recognised qualification.

This programme, with industry experts as mentors and access to state-of-the-art facilities, offers a comprehensive and structured pathway for individuals seeking a rewarding career in the horticultural sector.

This two-year programme, certified by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), equips apprentices with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in various horticulture-related roles. Whether you are new to the industry or already employed in a horticultural facility, this recognised qualification will elevate your expertise and career prospects.

Pathways to entry

Entry into the programme is open to dedicated individuals meeting specific requirements. Applicants must be employed full time by a ‘SOLAS Approved Employer’ in a horticultural setting. There are three pathways for entry.

  • Option 1: Completion of the Leaving Certificate (NFQ Level 5) with 5 subjects, including English at O6/H7 level and foundation Mathematics at F6 level.
  • Option 2: Successful completion of level 5 Certificate in Horticulture 5M2586 or an equivalent major horticulture course.
  • Option 3: For candidates aged 17 or older without the above qualifications, but with a minimum of 48 weeks cumulative experience in horticulture, recommended by their employer, and demonstrating the required literacy and numeracy skills.

What will the programme entail?

The curriculum consists of practical and theoretical learning, blending on-the-job training with scheduled off-the-job sessions. Throughout the course, apprentices will gain hands-on experience in various horticultural practices and use their expertise under the guidance of industry professionals. Employers are encouraged to actively participate in their employee’s growth by engaging in regular one-to-one mentor meetings.

In the first year, the modules provide a solid foundation. Some of the crucial topics covered include: growing media; plant nutrition; plant science; plant propagation; sustainable plant protection; plant identification; sustainable IT skills; and horticultural machinery and health & safety.

In year two, based on individual interests and career goals, apprentices filter into one of a number of streams, including:

  • Fruit Stream: Master the art of fruit production and cultivate expertise in this specialised domain;
  • Garden and Parks Stream: Explore advanced plant identification and cultivation techniques, and enhance your skills in garden and park management;
  • Garden Centre Stream: Acquire customer service excellence in horticulture and develop a deep understanding of garden centre management;
  • Landscaping Stream: Unlock the secrets of advanced plant identification and cultivation techniques while specialising in hard landscaping techniques;
  • Nursery Stream: Master customer service for horticulture and become proficient in nursery stock production;
  • Vegetable Stream: Focus on vegetable production and gain in-depth knowledge of sustainable practices in this area.

For more information on this apprenticeship programme and details on enrolling, click here.