Growing New Opportunities in Helensburgh

More than tending flowerbeds, pursuing horticulture could lead to a rewarding career - whether you're helping to combat food poverty or healing patients through therapeutic gardening.

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Course Tutor Andrew Garven

Contributing £24 billion to the UK economy each year and employing 568,700 people, the horticulture industry offers a range of careers - whether you're scientifically minded, have creative flair or want to put your technical aptitude into practice.

Amber Crowley, curriculum lead for horticulture at Argyll College UHI, explains, 'Horticulture is responsible for growing plants for biomass, textiles and medicines; keeping good supply of plants for habitat restoration and conservation; and maintaining over 20,000 hectares of vegetable and fruit growing in the UK.

'The industry needs plant specialists, educators, researchers, mechanics and technicians, designers, gardeners and more,' she says.

The NC Horticulture is newly available at the colleges’ Helensburgh campus in 2020 and local Dobbies Garden Centre manager, Andrew Garven will be central to the teaching team.  Andrew spent 3 years as an apprentice gardener before going on to study at The West of Scotland Agricultural College gaining a Higher National Diploma in Horticulture.  After time spent in fresh food production, horticultural training, and soft landscaping, he has forged a successful retail management career and working at store and regional level prior to joining the college as a Tutor. 

Andrew says, ‘’Whether you're a school leaver or want to make a career change, our horticulture courses will open up a new world of possibilities to you. There are many opportunities in the sector with more of people retiring from the workforce than entering, according to the RHS.’’

The one year NC course has two pathways and you can choose to study either Landscaping or Plant-Based horticulture and there will be lots of practical activities at Hermitage Park.

Applications are open now and if you’d like more information on the course or advice on what funding is available, you can register for the College’s online open day on August 5th and speak to a member of the teaching team. See our open day page for more information.