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Perennial and the PGGT partner to enhance Gardener’s qualifications
5:00pm Tuesday 24th July 2012 in Grow Your Own
Perennial have partnered up with the Professional Gardeners’ Guild Trust (PGGT) to help more gardeners to attain the additional qualifications or knowledge they may need for success. PGGT, like Perennial, are a charity and already award grants to enable applicants to gain a qualification or experience to enhance their career as a professional gardener. As a new strand to Perennial’s existing Lironi Training Fund, Perennial and the PGGT have come up with a pilot scheme to help even more gardeners develop their skills and knowledge.
This partnership seems a perfect match as Perennial will provide a certain level of funding per year and the PGGT will assess the applications and allocate these funds using an agreed criteria. It has been widely recognised by the horticulture industry that in order for both seasoned gardeners, trainees and students to further progress, even with good qualifications, there is often a need for them to attend additional short courses so they are able to obtain certificates of competence. Some of these courses are legal requirements (usually health & safety) e.g. pesticides/herbicides application and chainsaw certificates, whilst others are industry requirements. These courses are outside the standard curriculum of a horticultural qualification. A seasoned gardener with past qualifications can find it difficult to pay these extra fees on top of their day to day living costs and students on the other hand are often faced with the financial burden of financing a second course on top of their recent qualification.
Some employers will help pay towards the cost but not all, and often where they do it’s a contribution not the whole cost. It is a particular problem where the person is working for two or three employers, but attending these short courses, or conferences, will help many further their career within the industry.
Perennial and the PGGT have awarded their first grant to Matthew Bufton at Bristol Zoo. Matthew is Bristol Zoo’s garden manager and will benefit greatly from attending a conference run by the World Association of Zoological Horticulture – a rare area in the industry. To raise the money required he’s already pushed a trolley, full of plants, on a six mile (10km) course. He completed the challenge on Monday June 4th 2012, pushing the 35kg (77lb) trolley and its contents from Bristol Zoo, across Durdham Downs, over the Clifton Suspension Bridge, joining the cycle path near the mounted police station at Bower Ashton and then on to Pill harbour.
His ‘trolley dash’ was a success, but he hadn’t quite reached his target. That’s where Perennial and the PGGT stepped in. Awarding him a cheque so he had the sufficient funds, Matthew is now able to attend the Zoological Horticulture Conference in Florida.
If you know someone in a similar situation or perhaps you feel this applies to your life right now, application forms can be downloaded and further details found on the PGGT webpage www.pgg.org.uk/the-professional-gardeners-guild-trust
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