Environmental issues driving change
The findings from a survey commissioned by the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group (OHRG) Employment & Skills sub group, conducted by Pye Tait in June 2019, found that environmental issues are the main driver for change in the future of the UK ornamentals sector, which will now need to develop relevant skills and expertise.
The survey findings analyse more than 1,100 businesses’ responses to determine skills shortages and understand future needs of the horticulture industry that contributes more than £24 billion to the country’s economy.
A shortage of skills and access to labour followed environmental issues as other top drivers for change.
As our sector is facing critical labour shortages, the survey highlights the potential for the HTA to get involved with shaping future policy, focusing on skills funding and improving training. The call now is for the industry to digest, discuss and develop strategy together.
Businesses noted significant barriers in apprentice recruitment, including a lack of candidate interest in the sector and perceived deficiencies in apprentice behaviours.
AHDB Horticulture, Royal Horticultural Society, Arboricultural Association, British Association of Landscape Industries, Chartered institute of Horticulture and Landex co-funded the activity. This was in association with the Horticultural Trades Association and National Farmers’ Union.
The full report on the survey and the additional five sub-sectors surveyed, comprising Arboriculture, Landscaping, Ornamental Plant Production, Public Gardens and Garden Retail are available below.