How to get a career as a garden maintenance operative
HOW TO START A CAREER AS A GARDEN MAINTENANCE OPERATIVE
Are you considering a career as a garden maintenance operative? This information is what you need to start a career. As a garden maintenance operative, your role is to cultivate and take care of plants in different locations such as sports facilities, plant nurseries, private gardens, and public parks.
Gardening is an integral part of the horticultural industry, and the industry is divided into various segments which are amenity horticulture, garden staff, and production horticulture. It entails the management of open spaces, research, addressing climate change matters among others. Amenity horticulture entails the proper management of historic gardens and other public spaces.
These are the roles of a responsible garden maintenance operative:
- Cutting of grasses and hedges.
- Pruning and digging
- Laying of mulch around the plants.
- Clearing and planting of flower beds.
- Clearing of leaves and litter around the plants.
- Check the health status of the plants and apply pesticides to get rid of pests and diseases around the plants.
- Maintenance of equipment.
- Recycling of waste products in the garden.
- A routine check of the public spaces and parks to ensure visitors are safe.
- Nurturing of plants in indoor areas.
- Basic lawn mowing and hedge trimming
The basic starting salary of a garden maintenance operative is valued at around £12,000 every year. These professionals work for about forty hours a week, and this is determined by the season as well. They work outdoors in every type of weather and sometimes, interact with members of the public especially those that work at public parks and historic centers.
These professionals wear protective clothing when they are at work, and having a driving license is an added advantage. It is not a suitable job for individuals who are allergic to grass and pollen.
GETTING STARTED WITH THIS CAREER CHOICE
Getting started as a garden maintenance operative in the United Kingdom is quite simple. The gardening and horticulture industry employs more than ninety thousand employees in the United Kingdom, and the employers are Local Authorities, Private companies and contractors, Developers, Voluntary sector organizations, Sports clubs, Theme parks, Universities, colleges, and large industrial companies, Plant nurseries, Heritage organizations, and private individuals.
The prospects of working with these employers are higher and you can start your agency as well. If you have skills in landscape maintenance, garden design and contracting, it would be an amazing idea to work independently.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
There is no formal qualification required to start but some employers insist on a relevant qualification like City and Guilds in Amenity Horticulture. As a prospective applicant that wants to begin his or her career, you must be passionate about working with plants and an ardent lover of nature.
Entry requirements for college leavers are a few GCSE’s/S grades – check with your local college. Individuals who have attained the age of seventeen years with a year experience can take a National Certificate in Horticulture.
Other possible qualifications are as follows:
- C&G Advanced National Certificate in Horticulture (ANCH).
- BTEC/SQA higher national certificate or diploma.
- Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture.
- Foundation degree or degree in Horticulture or Landscape and Amenity Management.
While working, garden maintenance operatives may go for other qualifications, like the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture or City and Guilds National Certificate in Horticulture (which can be taken after a BTEC First Diploma in Horticulture or one year’s experience).
These are the following attributes you should possess if you are considering a career in garden maintenance:
- Understanding of plant science.
- Be willing under any weather conditions
- Have excellent communication skills
- Pay attention to health and safety issues
- Possess technical proficiency in the handling of gadgets
- Must be physically fit
- Be a team player and must be confident in expressing self
- Possess negotiating skills as an independent business person
- Work without supervision.
Garden maintenance operatives across the United Kingdom keep parks, schools and open spaces look good. A career as a gardener in London, Bath, Bristol, Kent …