NEWS IN DETAIL...
Undergraduates get a taste of the workplace
Promising Horticulturalists from Duchy College Rosewarne got to grips with life in industry recently when they stepped out into work placements as part of their course.
The students, who are studying a Foundation Degree in Horticulture, completed a three week work experience block with local gardens and nurseries across the county. Employers included St Michaels Mount, Enys Gardens, Trewidden Gardens, Mount Edgcumbe, Cornwall Council and the College’s very own Rosewarne Nursery.
Course Manager Marshall Hutchens explained: “This is a new part of the course designed to integrate work related learning into the students’ studies, not only are they getting expert practical experience as part of their studies but it is also a fantastic networking opportunity for future employment.”
Students got to grips with a number of tasks including potting, pruning, weeding, propagating, mulching and general maintenance and gardening duties.
Tara Jeffery, from Falmouth, spent her placement with Cornwall Council working in parks and gardens in the Falmouth and Penryn area, she said: “I loved it; it was great experience and really helped improve my skills. I enjoy hands-on manual work and really liked being outside doing practical work for the three weeks. My team leader was really knowledgeable and helped me learn lots of plant names, it was also a great way to get some contacts and hopefully I’ll be able to do some more work experience with them."
Andy Thornsby, from Plymouth, spent his placement at Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park in Torpoint, he said: “I got to try a bit of everything, from tidying up beds to using different machinery. It was really good experience, all the staff made me feel very welcome and I quickly felt like part of the team. I would like to do this kind of thing again and am hoping to go back to Mount Edgcumbe to work in the summer.”
Lee Stebbings, Head Gardener at Mount Edgcumbe, added: “We were very happy to be part of the work based experience. The Plant Heritage National Collection of Camellia is very popular with our visitors and Andy helped with our spring tidy before the plants start flowering. Andy worked in a number of areas of the garden and his plant knowledge and practical experience is good. It is great to have such an enthusiastic and eager student who we can help to greater things in his course and beyond.”
Andrew Counsell, Head of Duchy College, said: “This was fantastic experience for the students, a great opportunity to get out into industry and find out more about what careers are available in horticulture. This three week work placement really adds to the foundation degree, giving students a chance to make some contacts in the trade which may help them when they complete their studies.”
All undergraduate courses at Duchy College are awarded by the Plymouth University.
For further details about the university courses available at Duchy College Rosewarne call 0845 605 0455 or visit www.duchy.ac.uk.