Tom left school with some great GCSE grades (7Bs and 2Cs) and attended Worcester Sixth Form College studying Psychology, Applied Science and PE with an ambition to go to university to study as a PE teacher. Although being accepted to the university course, he decided to defer this initially as he was concerned about building up a student debt.
In order to fully consider his options, Tom took a look at the Apprenticeships website to see what local apprenticeship opportunities that might be available to him. Working outdoors in a physically demanding environment had something that had appealed to him (hence his interest in PE) and he came across an apprenticeship opportunity at Bransford Webbs Plant Nursery which was about 20 minutes from his home.
Following an interview, Tom was invited to the company for a trial week to give both Tom and the business an opportunity to find out more about each other. Tom experienced meeting with staff and working in different departments throughout the business and experience of the full-time working hours which include a 7am start in the summer).
Tom really enjoyed his trial week and Bransford Webbs were pleased to see how well he fitted into the team and his eagerness to learn. Tom was offered an apprentice position with Bransford Webbs which he commenced in the September of 2017. Since that time, he has developed his experience in horticulture including working in the glasshouses, polytunnels, propagation, planting, irrigation systems, pest and disease management (including biological controls) and despatch. He has also developed his supervision skills managing a team of the seasonal workers.
About his apprenticeship, Tom said, “My apprenticeship at Bransford Webbs has opened more career doors than I was initially expecting including some travelling away from the business on occasions. I was selected to attend the International Plant Propagation Society (IPPS) annual conference in Holland in October 2018 which in turn led to me being invited to speak at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and a Young Person’s Breakfast event at RHS Chelsea.”
Tom went on to win the Midlands Regional Growers Apprenticeship of the Year award which was presented to him at the RHS Malvern Spring Show by BBC gardener, Monty Don in June 2019.
Finally, Tom added, “I am so grateful for the opportunities that the apprenticeship at Bransford Webbs has given me and at some point in the future I may consider extending my apprenticeship qualifications further to do the Level 3 qualification.”
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