What is New Shoots?

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

Horticulture employs almost 570,000 people in the UK and contributes over £28b to the UK economy every year - twice the amount of the motor industry! It is a growing and changing sector in need of fresh talent and up-to-date skills. We believe that a career in horticulture can be exciting, rewarding and ever more important as we recognise the need to protect our natural environment, and we are therefore taking steps to get more people to take up careers in our sector. 

Meet the team

What is New Shoots trying to achieve?

New Shoots is set up to work along four main objectives: 
  1. Raise the profile of careers in horticulture
  2. Increase access to work-based training opportunities at RHS Gardens for currently under-represented groups
  3. Create a clear pathway towards formal training at RHS Gardens
  4. Build capacity within the organisation to increase the number and diversity of people entering the sector

What’s been happening so far?

As part of the pilot phase in 2022 and 2023, we have launched a number of activities at RHS Garden Wisley and RHS Garden Bridgewater, with our other gardens following from 2024. These include formal work experience for school students and adults, T-Level placements for the Agriculture, Land Management and Production programme, and open-to-all taster sessions for those wanting to learn more. 

The New Shoots team are also present at larger careers events across England, and are supporting industry professionals to share their career journeys in educational settings. 

Exciting things to come

We are currently exploring more flexible volunteering opportunities at Wisley and Bridgewater for people in full-time education or work, and are hoping to tell you more about these soon. 

We are also starting some very exciting developments in our gardens to create dedicated spaces for practical training, where the professional horticulturists of tomorrow can learn about and try out sustainable gardening techniques together with RHS experts and scientists. 

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.