Young horticulturalists' breakfast

More than 100 budding gardeners enjoyed early access to the show

Entrance to ChelseaMore than 100 budding horticulturalists headed through the gates at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on Friday 23 May.

The initiative, which was opened to horticultural students, apprentices, horticulturists beginning their careers and secondary school pupils, allowed them to see gardens and horticultural displays by world-class designers and growers in a an event designed to promote the breadth of career opportunities in horticulture.

The RHS hosted the event as part of the industry-wide Horticulture Matters campaign, which aims to raise the profile of careers in horticulture. The breakfast was sponsored by M&G Investments.

Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: “British horticulture is challenged by a skills gap and not enough young people are coming into the industry. We also know that as an industry we have to get better at promoting careers in horticulture. Last year over 80% of secondary school teachers* said they hadn’t received any information about careers within the industry."

Speakers at the event included: Raoul Curtis-Machin (CEO of Horticultural Trades Association), Saul Walker (RHS Chelsea Flower Show Manager), Chris Beardshaw (Award-winning designer and broadcaster), Jason Booth (National Manager of the Institute of Groundsmanship) and Jack Shilley (YoungHort Director).

The RHS Chelsea Appeal 2014 at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show raised funds to help the charity engage with more secondary schools.  The charity also raised funds to create more horticultural apprentice positions over the next five years at its four gardens.

* Censuswide was commissioned by the RHS to conduct the survey to 500 senior school teachers in March 2013

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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.