Homebase Garden Academy blossoms with BMet College training programme

Homebase Garden Academy blossoms with  BMet College training programme

Digging their learning: Homebase learners with designer, Adam Frost (left) and BMet’s Darren Rudge

This year’s Homebase Garden Academy students are cultivating their careers with help from Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet). The 40 learners working in Homebase garden centres across the UK have been studying with the college, gaining horticulture skills both in the classroom and the great outdoors.

Training is delivered from Winterbourne House and Gardens in Edgbaston by BMet staff and the award-winning designer, Adam Frost.

Darren Rudge, Department Manager at the college, said: “The Homebase Garden Academy provides a comprehensive professional development programme that BMet is pleased to be part of.

“The one-year programme includes a knowledge base in planting and landscaping, as well as horticulture and IT skills, which the learners can utilise in their current roles and throughout their gardening and retail careers.”

Daren continued: “By studying at Winterbourne Gardens, the students can complete gardening projects on land previously used by the BBC to film Gardeners’ World. The experiences they gain will ensure they are industry-ready.”

The students are working towards a Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) Level 1 Award in Practical Horticulture.

Jon Kemp, Head of Gardens at Homebase, said: “Our Garden Academy was launched with Adam Frost in 2013 as a way of providing those with a passion for gardening a pathway into a career in horticulture.

“We’re delighted to be working with BMet to equip our students with the skills they need to help our customers create gardens they love.”

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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