Careers and Alternative Schemes

Careers in horticulture

Horticulture is a career that people fall in love with. For anyone with a love of the outdoors and a feel for plants, it can be an incredibly rewarding way to earn a living. Increasingly, horticulture is a career change for those looking for more satisfaction from their work. Indeed, some of our own trainees were transplanted from office jobs, and never looked back!

If you would like to discuss your next career step in horticulture, please contact the HBGTP Scheme Manager.

Alternatives to the HBGTP scheme

The HBGTP is one of a number of schemes that offer practical garden work placements in the UK.

Some of these alternative schemes are listed below. Like the HBGTP scheme, they are aimed at people who would like to begin or to advance a career in professional gardening. These placements all receive some level of financial remuneration, and a number also offer accommodation.

Details may change from year to year, so make sure you check these with the individual organisations. For further information about these schemes, contact the organisations directly.

  • Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Glasshouses
    Botanical Horticultural Studentship – 1 year placement (1 apprentice vacancy)
  • Cambridge Botanic Gardens
    Cambridge Certificate in Practical Horticulture and Plantsmanship (Level 1) – 1 year placement (7 vacancies)
  • Chelsea Physic Garden
    Horticultural Traineeship – 1 year placement (1 vacancy)
  • Eden Project
    Apprenticeships Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Horticulture – 1 year placement (2 vacancies)
  • Great Dixter
    Christopher Lloyd Scholarship/HBGBS – 1 year placement (1 vacancies)
  • MacRobert Trust
    Horticultural Traineeship in Scotland & RHS Certificate – 1 year placement (4 vacancies)
  • National Botanic Garden of Wales
    Apprenticeship – 2 year Level 2 Apprenticeship
  • The Garden Museum
    Horticultural Traineeship – 1 year placement ( 1 vacancy)
  • National Trust of Scotland (NTS): Threave
    Certificate in Heritage Gardening – 1 year placement (6 vacancies) or Diploma in Heritage Gardening – 2 year placement at Threave and another NTS garden (6 vacancies)
  • Online Turf
    Scholarship of £500 for one applicant in full-time education of an agricultural or horticultural subject field.
  • Professional Gardeners Guild (PGG)
    PGG Certificate – 3 year placements (7 vacancies). Applications close 27th April 2018.
  • Perennial: Gardener’s Benevolent Fund (Admin. by PGG)
    Apprenticeship West Dean Gardens –  2 year placement – Level 2 Apprenticeship (1 vacancies)
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
    Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma ‘Plantsmanship’ (HND) or BSc year placement 4 – BSc (Hons) – 4 yrs placement (but students can enter at the start of year placement 1, 2 or 3)
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew )
    Diploma – 3 year placement (14 vacancies) or 2 year Level 2 Apprenticeship
  • Royal Horticultural Society (RHS): Harlow Carr
    Apprenticeship – 2 year placement – Level 2 Apprenticeship (2 vacancies)
  • RHS: Hyde Hall
    Apprenticeship – 2 year placement – Level 2 Apprenticeship (2 vacancies)
  • RHS: Rosemoor
    Apprenticeship – 2 year placement – Level 2 Apprenticeship (3 vacancies)
  • RHS: Wisley
    Apprenticeship – 2 year placement – Level 2 Apprenticeship and Level 4 Diploma in Practical Horticulture – 2 year placements (14 vacancies)
  • RHS: Wisley
    Floral dept, Fruit, Alpine, Glass, Estate and Plant Centre – 1 year placement (5 vacancies)
  • Royal Parks
    Royal Parks Apprenticeship Programme – 3 year placements – Level 2 and 3 Apprenticeships
  • Tresco Abbey Gardens
    Elizabeth Hess Scholarship, awarded annually by the Studley College Trust – 1 year placement (3 vacancies)
  • The Work and Retrain As a Gardener Scheme (WRAGS)
    15 hours a week for a year placement – Part-time
  • Wadhurst Park
    1 year traineeship with time off and funding to attend a Level 2 horticultural certificate



Useful Links

Grow Careers

Grow is an initiative set up by a group of influential organisations within the horticulture industry to inform people about horticultural careers and the range of fantastic opportunities horticulture has to offer. The web portal is backed by a schools pack which includes a series of posters and careers information leaflets.

Studley College Trust

Studley College Trust is a charity set up by the Governors and retiring Principal of Studley College, following its closure in 1969. It was established to encourage, assist and develop education, instruction and research in land-based subjects by financially assisting young people who wish to pursue a career in one of these areas but are restricted by financial constraints.