Careers Promotion

New Shoots is the RHS’ nationwide initiative to promote horticultural careers and to increase the number and diversity of people entering the sector

The UK horticulture sector has faced challenges in finding skilled staff, including issues related to the perception of the industry, limited training opportunities, and the aging workforce. In fact, 70% of businesses say that they already struggle to find the skilled workers they need. With the UK government’s plans to improve the environment and reach its climate action goal of net-zero, the horticultural sector will play a critical part in fighting for a more sustainable and planet-friendly future for the UK.

The RHS New Shoots initiative aims to inspire this next generation of talent from a grassroots level by increasing awareness about the huge variety of rewarding, exciting, and in some cases surprising, job roles available in the sector. We aim to support school leavers and career changers in their decision-making through a number of opportunities, such as in-person events and online webinars.

Supporting the Gatsby Benchmarks of good careers guidance

Our New Shoots information and programmes align with 7 of the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks and can help schools and colleges deliver their careers advice programmes.

1. A stable careers programme
We are looking to build long-term relationships with secondary schools within travelable distance of our RHS Gardens. We are especially interested in schools with a high percentage of Free School Meals (FSM).
Get in touch if you would like to work with us on supporting your schools careers programme.
2. Learning from careers and labour market information
Take a look at our Horticultural Careers page, which gives you and your learners an overview of current trends and needs.
We also have organisational profile pages on Success at School and Unifrog for your learners to find out more information. Success at School is national careers platform designed for students aged 13-19. Their main aim is to empower and guide young individuals in making well-informed decisions about their future pathways. Unifrog is a platform that helps students compare every university course, every apprenticeship, and Further Education courses - then apply successfully.
3. Addressing the needs of each student
We are actively challenging stereotypes in the breadth of roles we showcase and the level of aspiration – a career in horticulture can lead to high-profile and high-income jobs in the sector.
Take a look at the breadth of careers roles on our horticultural careers profile page.
4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
We worked together with Developing Experts to create free STEM subject resources that are aligned to the KS 3 and 4 Science curriculum and include horticulture professionals highlighting real-life application of STEM learning.
5. Encounters with employers and employees
We can help you provide meaningful encounters with employers and employees through
  • Attendance at careers events across the UK: We’re attending larger regional events such as the National School and College Leaver Festival, to showcase the variety of horticultural roles and signpost routes into the sector – check their exhibitor lists prior to attending
  • Careers Open Days at RHS Gardens: Whether you are already employed or you are just curious and exploring multiple routes into the world of work, we welcome you to attend a free Green Careers Open Day
  • Ambassador networks: invite a professional horticulturist into your classroom, we are supporting industry professionals to share their career journeys with the next generation through Inspiring the Future and STEM Ambassador schemes.
  • Get in touch with the team to see whether we could join your classroom virtually
  • Taster days at RHS Gardens
  • Students will be able to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace.
    Interactive careers webinars: Watch our Webinars on plant-based careers, featuring interviews with our Apprentices, Plant Scientist, Gardeners and more:
6. Experiences of workplaces
Students can gain first-hand experiences of the workplace though:
  • Attending a bespoke taster day
  • Shadow employees during a 1-week work experience placement in our teams
  • Work with teams during T-Level placements for the Science or Agriculture, Land Management and Production specifications
  • Sign up for regular youth volunteering sessions to gain practical skills and a better understanding of how a public garden and visitor attraction is run.
7. Encounters with further and higher education
Students can get information about the full range of work-based training opportunities at the RHS through bespoke taster days. The RHS offers a number of apprenticeship opportunities as well as further training programmes in the workplace.
Contact us
For more information or if you have a question, please get in touch with the New Shoots team. 

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.