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 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.

  • Cambridge Botanic Gardens
    Cambridge Trainee Technician Scheme (Level 1) – 1 year placement
  • Chelsea Physic Garden
    Horticultural Traineeship – 1 year placement
  • Eden Project
    Horticulture Apprenticeships in collaboration with Cornwall College – 2 year placements
  • Great Dixter
    Christopher Lloyd Scholarship/Great Dixter Nursery Traineeship
  • MacRobert Trust
    Horticultural Traineeship in Scotland – 1 and 2 year placements. An RHS L2 Certificate, plus Chainsaw and Pesticide Application Certificates are included.
  • National Botanic Garden of Wales
    Horticulture Apprenticeship in collaboration with Coleg Sir Gâr (RHS L2 Cert and City & Guilds Diploma) – 2 year placement
  • The Garden Museum
    Horticultural Traineeship – 1 year placement
  • National Trust of Scotland (NTS): Threave
    School of Heritage Gardening – offers 1 year placements with RHS L2 Cert
  • National Trust of Scotland (NTS): Various Gardens
    Garden Apprenticeships in collaboration with Oatridge College – 2 year placements
  • Professional Gardeners Guild (PGG)
    PGG Certificate supported by the Studley College Trust – 3 year placements based at 3 different leading gardens
  • Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
    Higher National Diploma (HND), BSc  or BSc (Hons) in Horticulture with Plantsmanship – 4 year placement (but students can enter at the start of years 1, 2 or 3)
  • Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG), Kew
    Diploma – 3 year placements; Glasshouses or Botanical Horticulture Apprenticeship – 2 year placements; Specialist Certificates – 1 year placements
  • RBG Kew: Wakehurst
    Apprenticeship – 2 year placements
  • Royal Horticultural Society (RHS): Harlow Carr
    Horticulture Apprenticeship – 2 year placement; Specialist Horticultural Placement – 1 year placement
  • RHS: Hyde Hall
    Horticulture Apprenticeship – 2 year placement
  • RHS: Rosemoor
    Horticulture Apprenticeship – 2 year placement
  • RHS: Wisley
    Horticulture Apprenticeship – 2 year placement; Diploma in Horticultural Practice (L3 & L4) – 2 year placement; Specialist Horticultural Placement – 1 year placement
  • Royal Parks (parks across London area)
    Horticulture Apprenticeship in collaboration with Capel Manor College (includes RHS L2 Cert) – usually 3 year placement
  • Tresco Abbey Gardens
    Elizabeth Hess Scholarship, supported by the Studley College Trust – 1 year placement
  • The Work and Retrain As a Gardener Scheme (WRAGS)
    Practical training delivered within placement gardens – 14 hours a week for 1 year.



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.