National grounds maintenance provider Envirocare have announced that they have come up with their very own bespoke apprenticeship scheme, the Envirocare Intermediate Apprenticeship in Amenity Horticulture, which works in conjunction with recent government initiatives concerning apprenticeships but which benefits the needs of their franchisees more specifically.

Apprenticeships have regularly been in the news this year. Vince Cable and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills recently introduced the new government initiative Apprenticeship Grant for Employers, which helps offset up to £1,500 of the training costs of taking on a first-time apprentice for businesses of less than 1,000 employees.

Envirocare franchise director says: “As a franchisor, we are always trying to come up with new and innovative ways to help with the running of business and it was clear that we had to come up with an affordable solution to assist when it comes to a growing franchisee and their workforce. More franchise brands should realise the importance of an apprentice scheme.”

After working closely with a national agricultural college – Myerscough – Envirocare have gone one step further, with their apprentices gaining a national diploma for their chosen industry. The apprenticeship creates a win-win: franchisees get cost-effective staff, the government helps with training costs and the college has a mechanism to help recruit the staff.

“Ensuring it was available nationally to all of our franchisees was a necessity, and together with Myerscough College we ensured that it was entirely work-based. The college assessors will visit their workplace, which means they do not even need to go into college for a day.

“An Envirocare apprentice will gain so much out of their apprenticeship. They will get a Level 2 diploma in work-based horticulture. It is available for 16-to-24 year olds, who are looking to join a growing national business. The apprentice will be working full-time, receiving a regular wage, trained to our company’s very specific high standards, whilst working towards a nationally-recognised qualification at the same time.”

The scheme has been popular with the network; Envirocare franchisee Andrew Dewhurst says: “Having an apprentice is perfect for me. I have a cost-effective member of staff who has agreed to work to standards set by Envirocare and their training means they have long-term potential in my business.”