by our RBG Correspondent | Woolwich
A new horticulture centre, aimed at helping local people to learn new horticultural skills, and a new vocation, has been opened by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, in partnership with Hadlow College.
|* Councillor Sizwe James (right) and Mark Lumsdon-Taylor (left)|
cut the ribbon at the new RBG Horicultural Skills Centre
The Royal Borough Horticultural Skills Centre is based on a former Royal Borough parks and open spaces depot on Shooters Hill and has a teaching room, IT suite, polytunnel and workshop where students can learn how to handle heavy equipment used in horticulture, such as chainsaws and heavy duty cutting equipment.
Opening the new skills centre, Councillor Sizwe James, Cabinet Member for Business, Employment and Skills, said: “This new centre is part of our desire to continue the Olympic legacy from 2012, to help local people reap the benefits of investment and our commitment to tackle poverty and unemployment.
Tackling poverty and helping our residents gain new skills and qualifications so that they can find work, or change careers, is a key priority for the Council. This new centre will have the specialist teaching that will enable residents to gain new skills that they can either use just for their own pleasure, or to use as a stepping stone to greater things.
Our ambition is that that many will use their training here to go on to a new career in horticulture, and with the specialist help that we can give them from our Small Business Support team, we know we have the right support in place to help them succeed. I look forward to coming back in the coming months to hear about individual success stories and to see the centre flourishing.”
Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Hadlow College Group Director of Finance & Resources said: “Hadlow College has an established and strong relationship with Greenwich Council as a result of developing the equestrian centre at Shooters Hill. The opening of the Centre as a skills centre for training in horticultural skills has a logical synergy that will enhance our strategic partnership. We are delighted that we will be helping local people to learn new horticultural skills, by offering vocational and higher education learning that supports them into employment within the growing horticulture sector.”
The Horticultural Skills Centre will be run by Hadlow College, the outstanding land-based college based in Kent, and will offer vocational and higher education programmes, including: pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training at levels 1 and 2; adult and community learning; National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC) short courses for those working in the Landbased sector of industry. Courses will have literacy, numeracy and IT skills embedded, with the aim of equipping students with a range of transferable skills that will increase employability and provide potential access a range of jobs and careers.
Greenwich Local Labour and Business (GLLaB), which provides support and advice on jobs and skills to borough residents, will signpost interested people to the new Centre and Hadlow will work with a range of businesses, organisations and education providers to highlight the opportunities on offer.
|* Councillor Sizwe James (right) meets Hadlow College apprentices|
with Mark Lumdsdon-Taylor and Paul Hannon (far left).
The new skills centre complements the Equestrian Skills Centre, opened by HRH The Princess Royal, in December 2013.
For more information about the courses on offer at the Horticultural Centre, go to www.hadlow.ac.uk/about/our-campuses/greenwich-horticulture/.