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Taking the initiative

Are you bored with your office job? Longing to spend more time outdoors? We often hear about skills shortages in sectors of our industries and how they can impact on productivity and a company’s plans for expansion and development, so rather than just sit by and allow this situation go unchallenged, one sector of the land-based industry has taken action.

BALI (The British Association of Landscape Industries) has rolled out a new scheme called GOLandscape with the aim of promoting the landscape industry (and the career opportunities within it) to young people looking for a career and also anyone who may be thinking of changing their job.

Industry ambassadors are being selected and trained to inform people about the many different career pathways within the landscape industry. The goal is for these representatives to go to schools, colleges and recruitment fairs to bang the drum for this very varied - and thriving - industry.

The scheme was launched last week at a meeting held at the RHS Wisley Garden in Surrey. This is a particularly apt venue when you consider that practically all the Medal-winning gardens at RHS shows like Chelsea, Hampton Court, Chatsworth and Tatton Park are built by landscape professionals with BALI membership.

As well as leading members from the industry, college lecturers, instructors and employers, there were a number of trainees and apprentices present who are just starting out on their careers. The day was organised by BALI staff and the meeting and presentations presided over by Tommy Walsh, well-known from his role as leading hard landscaper on the Ground Force team.

Garden design has been hugely popular for many years, but without a good, knowledgeable landscaper to translate the design into reality, these plans would not see the light of day - or not in a way that would stand the test of time.

For more information, go to golandscape.co.uk

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