First class skills

As Love Parks Week kicked off (25 July) landscape professionals need to keep training and to recognise the importance of the professional skills required to ensure parks remain an important part of society says Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for environmental and land-based industries.

No gardening or landscaping business can stand still in regards to knowledge. Although a lot of training is obligatory these days, continuous, diverse and innovative training makes a huge difference to staff, the business, customers and our parks and green spaces.

Leicester City Council encourages and invests in training and celebrates the success of trainees and staff who gain qualifications. Richard Welburn, their Head of Parks and Green Space Services, said: “Investing in our staff sends a powerful message from the organisation that the Parks and Green Space Service is committed to developing its people. The people we employ are our most important resource. Investment in training and development benefits both the employer and the individual, and as a business, for us it is creating a level of momentum and motivation within our staff that previously didn’t exist.

David Winn, Lantra’s Industry Manager for horticulture, landscaping and sports turf, said: “It is so important that gardeners and landscapers keep developing their skills and stay abreast of industry developments. Research shows that investing in skills boosts staff productivity by 8% per employee and increases profitability – for every £1 invested in training the return can be between £3 and £6. Training really helps to boost staff motivation, loyalty and confidence, which can only benefit parks UK wide.”

Richard continues: “We believe in investing in people, improving services and user satisfaction. A supported and skilled workforce can deliver a better service. I recognise that there is still much to be done, for example in regard to developing a representative workforce however working as a team Leicester Parks and Greenspace Services will continue to rise to the challenge.”

Lantra helps support landscape gardeners improve their skills, working to ensure that training meets the needs of industry. For more information about Lantra, to become a member of Lantra’s Virtual Industry Group or to take part in consultations, please visit or call 0845 707 8007.

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