One apprentice has proven that a rose can bloom in any garden, as he completes his level 2 diploma in horticulture whilst tending to the grounds of Kent Science Park. Sittingbourne local Peter Petts, 21, has been working for landscape and maintenance contractor Nurture Landscapes since April 2012, and when he isn’t studying he is tending to the 28 hectares of grounds on the Park. He has done such a tremendous job that he has been shortlisted for the Green-tech Apprentice of the Year award.
Peter is one of ten apprentices that have been nominated for the award, which will be announced in December. Manager Stephen Packham works closely with Peter looking after all aspects of tending to the Park’s green areas. He has been so impressed with Peter that he has offered him a full-time job on completion of his apprenticeship in May. He spoke about why he felt that Peter deserved to win the award:
“Peter has always been very hands-on and has shown a continual ongoing eagerness to learn. He doesn’t grumble at low-key jobs and when we had to clear the snow and grit he worked all weekend. I started at the bottom myself and progressed to manager, and I can see a similar career path for Peter.”
Peter’s job onsite is a varied one, and his day can consist of anything from cutting the grass and pruning the bushes, to fertilising the grounds and ensuring the park is kept clean and tidy. Peter spoke about what he enjoyed about his job:
“You can never learn enough in this business. At college I learn about trees, shrubs, perennial weeds, pests and diseases. But the academic elements aren’t much help if you’re no good at planting and trimming a shrub border. I enjoy balancing learning with practical work.”
James Speck, Site Director of Kent Science Park commented on Peter’s nomination:
“It’s outstanding news for Peter, as well as for Nurture and Kent Science Park. I often see him around the park tending the gardens. Not only is he very capable at his job, he is always personable and outgoing. The Park is extremely supportive of apprenticeships; they give young people a career-path and invaluable on-the-job experience, and give employers access to new talent that is eager to learn. Peter is a prime example of how apprenticeships should work – he has worked hard and learnt the skills of his trade and is being rewarded with a full-time job and the recognition of being shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year.”