Alan Titchmarsh has warned of a skills shortage in horticulture because young people think gardening is for 'drop outs'.
Alan Titchmarsh said unemployed young people are missing out because of the public image of gardening and a lack of Government support for horticulture in schools and colleges Photo:
The gardening industry needs 11,000 new entrants over the next ten years as the older generation retire, EU immigrants return home and young people reject manual jobs. One in ten firms say they are already struggling to find tree surgeons and groundsmen, according to Lantra, the skills council for the land-based industries.
But a Royal Horticultural Society poll found almost 70 per cent of 18-year-olds questioned believe horticultural is for people who have failed academically and have no skills.
Alan Titchmarsh, who has criticised the Prime Minister for describing horticulture as unskilled, said unemployed young people are missing out because of the public image of gardening and a lack of Government support for horticulture in schools and colleges.
"There are now over one million under-25s out of work, so why is the Government not doing more to help funnel skilled young people into a sector where there are opportunities?"
"Through studying horticulture you could end up organising some of the most creative, artistic events in the world or as a scientist working on drought solutions for horticulture," he said. "But students aren't seeing the link between their science, art or design courses and jobs on offer in horticulture. We need to act now to change perceptions and ensure our children grow up with a greater respect for and love of the tremendous natural riches that surround them in a country that can boast the best gardens and the finest gardening tradition in the world."
Article sourced from :- The Telegraph