RHS Apprenticeships

Get the skills and qualifications you need for a career in horticulture with our two-year apprenticeship programmes

Apprentice at work in Harlow Carr

Two-year programmes

  • Horticultural Operative Apprentices (L2) spend two years working alongside experienced horticulturists in our prestigious RHS Gardens. This experience gives a real understanding of the seasonal work involved in an ornamental garden. There is nothing like getting your hands dirty to grow your knowledge and confidence
  • Horticultural Supervisor Apprentices (L3) spend two years working alongside experienced horticulturists in our prestigious RHS Gardens. This experience gives learners a real understanding of the seasonal work involved in an ornamental garden and an understanding of how garden teams carry out their work for the benefit of everyone

Applications are closed

Applications for apprenticeships for an August start of the same year have now closed.


Horticulture / Landscape Operative Apprenticeship (L2)

  • RHS apprentices study the horticulture option for this standard, which focuses on plant propagation and plant growth
  • Study is completed by block release at college

Available to study at:

More info
 

Arborist Apprenticeship (L2)

  • Planting, felling and maintaining trees

Available to study at:

More info
 

Horticulture / Landscape Supervisor Apprenticeship (L3)

  • RHS apprentices study the horticulture option for this standard, which focuses on plant propagation, growing media, pruning techniques and irrigation
  • Study is completed by block release at college

Available to study at: 

More info

Work in the garden

Working in the gardenApprentices are paid RHS employees on a two-year fixed-term contract (depending on apprenticeship).
 

You will undertake regular rotations through various garden departments assisting RHS staff with a range of tasks in the day-to-day cultivation and maintenance of the garden.

The working week is 37.5 hours per week, which includes any day or block release to college. Occasional weekend work will be required when key RHS events are taking place.

Each apprentice is assigned a Garden Manager and key contacts within each of the garden’s Curatorial / Educational departments.


As an RHS apprentice you will:

  • Train to become a gardener or garden supervisor of the future by receiving an inspiring and effective apprenticeship programme
  • Progress and develop in an inspiring learning environment
  • Grow your practical understanding, knowledge and skills at a prestigious RHS Garden
  • Increase your skills, confidence and knowledge to help you to find employment within the horticultural industry after your training has finished

Applications and entry requirements

  • Applicants should demonstrate a passion in either plants, gardening or the area they have chosen to apply for
  • The apprenticeships are aimed primarily at 16–19 year-olds, although are suitable for anyone looking to enter the horticultural industry
  • It is desirable for you to have at least two GCSEs (or equivalents) in English/maths/science/IT. If you do not have an English and/or maths GCSEs (or equivalents), you will be required to complete Functional Skills as part of your apprenticeship
  • Applicants must have the ability to grasp information and apply recently gained knowledge, have a strong interest in plants and horticulture and must have a reasonable standard of IT literacy (use email, Microsoft Word to create documents and the internet to research information)
  • For the Horticulture / Landscape Operative Apprenticeship at (L2): No previous horticultural experience or qualifications are required. Please note that if you already hold all or part of a Level 2 horticultural qualification you are not eligible for the L2 apprenticeship due to government funding rules
  • For the Horticulture / Landscape Supervisor Apprenticeship at (L3): A minimum of three months practical, horticultural experience in a professional environment is required. Please note that if you already hold all or part of a Level 3 horticultural qualification you are not eligible for the L3 apprenticeship due to government funding rules

How to apply – applications are closed

Applications for apprenticeships for an August start of the same year have now closed.


Transport and accommodation

  • Apprentices must find their own way to work, however, each garden will have flexibility in enabling access around public transport
  • Accommodation is not provided for apprentices at any of the RHS Gardens

After your apprenticeship

Apprentices successfully gaining the RHS Apprenticeship certificate have the opportunity to:


Got a question?

Email our dedicated team and they’ll help you get your learning underway.

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More information for young horticulturists

Campaign for School GardeningOur Campaign for School Gardening has information for school children as well as lots of competitions, help and information for 11 to 19 year-old gardening enthusiasts.

More for 11-19s

Thank you to our supporters

Thank you from our studentsOur work-based training programmes are only possible with funding from our supporters. We are very grateful for the help we have received so far.

Find out more

RHS Books and more

See our wide range of books and gardening equipment to help your studies

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Get involved

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.