Level 2 Horticulture Apprentice Joseph Rochford Gardens Ltd

To assist with nursery production, plant stock care and maintenance. Be able to work in all weather conditions and be fit and have a good work ethic – this is more important that work related skills. Communicate effectively with the work team to ensure efficient completion of the job.

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Closing date: 29 Sep 2017

Apprenticeship summary

  • Weekly wage


    Wages explained

    The current National Minimum Wage for an apprentice is £3.50 an hour. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.
    Apprentices must be paid at least the minimum wage rate for their age if they are aged 19 or over and have completed their first year.
    The minimum wage rates are £5.60 an hour for 18-20 year olds and £7.05 for anyone aged 21 and over.
    Apprentices are paid for their normal working hours and training that’s part of their apprenticeship (usually one day per week).

  • Working week

    8.00 am to 4.30 pm Mon -Fri with two 30 minute unpaid breaks Occasional weekend work will be required on a rota basis

    Total hours per week: 37.50

  • Apprenticeship duration

    14 months

  • Possible start date

    02 Oct 2017

  • Date posted

    04 Sep 2017

  • Apprenticeship level

    Intermediate Level Apprenticeship

  • Reference number


  • Positions

    3 available

Job Responsibilities:

Customer Orders:

  • Maintaining collated orders pending collection or dispatch.
  • Order picking with reference to specific customer requirements.
  • Packing and loading of plants prior to collector, or dispatch with attention to preserving the quality of the order.
  • Updating computer records to reflect the state of orders due for collection or dispatch.
  • Communicate with the sales team regarding shortfalls or quality issues with their orders.


Work efficiently as part of the production team to ensure all stock is grown and nurtured to the highest possible standards. Assist in the following areas of work:

  • The preparation of bare root, liner and plug material ready for potting, and in the potting and setting down process.
  • Plant maintenance tasks as instructed.
  • The movement and selection of stock, as directed.

Sales/Cash and Carry:

  • Ensure plants are located and presented correctly to maximise sales opportunities, as directed.

Performance Standards of an Operative:

Key responsibilities:

Plant Care and Maintenance:

  • Assist with plant production as directed to ensure all stock is grown and maintained to the highest possible standard adhering to the principles of Integrated Crop Management. This will include watering, pruning, caning, protecting etc. Carry out pesticide and herbicide applications where required (qualified staff only).

Out of hours responsibilities:

  • Be available to work over weekends and bank holidays, on a rota basis mainly during the summer months, to ensure continuity of plant care, particularly irrigation.

Production Process:

Work efficiently as part of the production team and assist in the following areas of work:

  • The preparation of bare root, liner and plug material ready for potting.
  • The potting and setting down process.
  • Plant maintenance tasks as instructed.
  • The movement and selection of stock, as directed.

Sales, Cash and Carry:

  • Be courteous and helpful to our customers.
  • If working on Drive-in areas, ensure plants are located and presented correctly to maximise sales opportunities; ensure upkeep and presentation of department is carried out; ensure plant maintenance is carried out; assist customers when required with information and loading of products.
  • Have sufficient knowledge of the nursery to enable you to direct and assist customers, including advice on plant substitutions where appropriate.
  • Maintain and improve product knowledge.

Site responsibilities:

  • Be aware, at a basic level, of how the site works, including where and how to properly dispose of waste materials of all types. Be responsible for the correct disposal of waste created during daily work.
  • Carry out site maintenance to parking areas, hedges, paths and beds as instructed to maintain the cleanliness and appearance of the site. Report any health and safety issues to your Team Leader or Line Manager.

Company Procedures:

  • Carry out tasks efficiently and effectively and in accordance with the Company Policies and Procedures, having particular regard to Health and Safety procedures. Ensure that all relevant information is documented and dealt with appropriately.

Assist with any other tasks that can reasonably be considered to be appropriate to this position and within your capabilities.  For example if you notice that plants are dry ensure that you either water them yourself, or raise the issues with others for watering to take place.

Requirements and prospects

Desired skills

  • Able to read and write in English.
  • Some relevant horticulture background.
  • Driving licence desirable, as the vacancy requires the applicant  to drive on-site machinery, please state if you have a driving licence in your application.

Personal qualities

  • Reliable, willing, good attitude, work ethic, able to follow written and verbal instructions.
  • Able to work within a team.

Qualifications required

  • Maths and English GCSE, or equivalent, at grade c or above desired. 

Future prospects

Good development for an individual who wants to remain and learn about horticulture.

Things to consider

Physical Working Conditions and Environment: The post holder with be based at Letty Green, or Birch Green sites. They will be expected to work in all weathers, for example inclement weathers such as cold and rain. Post holders will need to be physically able to carry out the demands of the role as some heavy lifting may be necessary. Staff need to monitor their wellbeing at all times and if they feel they are facing stress of any kind they need to discuss this with their line manager. Rochfords has a Stress Policy and Procedure designed to aid and support staff. Important Other Information Training on the Apprenticeships Programme for 16 to 18 year olds is a priority and fully-funded by Government. Training for Apprenticeships for those over this age is part funded, with employers expected to make a part or full contribution. KEITS Training Services Ltd reserves the right to close the vacancy earlier than the listed closing date should the need arise.

About the employer

One of the largest cash and carry sites in the UK, with over 70 aces of container production we have a huge selection from mature trees to decorative grasses. Our expert staff are happy to help customers select the very best varieties for their needs. To help customers save time and money, in addition to knowledgeable and friendly staff , Rochfords have developed a helpful app to streamline ordering , stock control , and invoicing, The app also allows access to the up to the current plant availability list . In our 49 staff we have over 500 years of service. Wonderful place to work with terms and conditions above the statutory requirements.


Joseph Rochford Gardens Ltd


Letty Green


SG14 2PB

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Training provider

  • Full training will be provided throughout the Level 2 Horticulture apprenticeship.
  • Full support and training will be provided for any Functional Skills required. 

Apprenticeship framework


Training provider


Applications for this apprenticeship are being processed by KEITS Training Services Ltd


Rosalind South 07833 051 434 recruit@keits.co.uk

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Closing date: 29 Sep 2017