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YMCA Training & GoLandscape hold apprenticeship levy coffee morning.

On Tuesday 24th September, YMCA Training and BALI GoLandscape hosted their first collaborative apprenticeship levy coffee morning.

At the picturesque Hampton Court Palace on a particularly rainy morning, Horticulture Careers’ Brand Manager Liam Colclough was in attendance amongst a small group of employers and training providers. The purpose was to discuss the benefits of welcoming an apprentice amongst their workforce.

Despite the torrential downpour, a good mix of people gathered to learn about how apprenticeships can be a great way to develop existing staff and hire fresh talent whilst offering life changing opportunities to people who are serious about a career in horticulture or landscaping.

Sallyann Smith, Senior Business Development Executive at YMCA Training, welcomed the group. She began the discussion with an overview of YMCA Training’s objectives, and a brief company history. YMCA was founded 175 years ago by an apprentice with the aim of creating a safe space for people to learn in a positive environment. Many years later, during the deep recession and mass unemployment of the late 1970s, YMCA Training was created to help young people find employment through work and training. This focus on developing talent and providing employment opportunities still remains very much at the heart of what they do, and the process has only become more fine-tuned over the past four decades.

Joining us from Hampton Court Palace was Swazi Kaur, HR Advisor (Diversity & Inclusion) and Daniel Allingham, who is currently undertaking his apprenticeship within the historic grounds. There was a good reason behind the choice of location (besides the beauty!) as YMCA Training are the apprenticeship provider for the Royal Historic Palaces. Both Swazi and Daniel spoke positively of their experiences working with YMCA Training, in particular of the on-site training structure offered by the provider. With all the training being offered on-site in a practical setting, as an employer you are not ‘losing your learner for a day, and as an apprentice you won’t be required to travel to college. Daniel has been an apprentice at Hampton Court palace since January 2019. He spoke about how his apprenticeship has changed his life for the better, offering him a brighter future and opening up a number of prospects for him. He also touched on the mental health benefits of working outdoors and the feeling of accomplishment achieved from his work. Daniel also spoke positively of his YMCA Training tutor for always being on hand to offer advice and guidance, whether face to face or over the telephone. Swazi then spoke about how crucial it is as an employer to have an open and positive relationship with their training provider. She said that YMCA Training have proven to be excellent communicators who will find quick solutions to any problems they might encounter.

Stephen Ensell, Education Officer at BALI, then spoke of the importance of having an impact on the younger generation, championing horticulture and landscaping as a viable career option and showing them the different career paths available to them, as well as demonstrating how the basic skills they learn at school such as Maths and English will have practical applications within the workplace. Stephen heads up BALI’s GoLandscape initiative, which aims to raise awareness of the different career paths available within the industry, and promote this to people of all ages from different walks of life.

Why Choose YMCA Training as your apprenticeship provider?
  • YMCA Training are a leading national charity with a proven track record of successfully training thousands of apprentices every year for over 40 years, who go on to build rewarding and fulfilling careers.
  • All training is delivered on-site, saving time, money and mileage.
  • YMCA Training will provide a clear point of contact for your account, with well timed and structured feedback and easy to use apprentice monitoring.
  • YMCA Training’s apprenticeship standards have been developed by employers & industry leaders so you can be sure that they meet the standards of the modern industry.
  • YMCA Training are an Ofsted accredited training provider.
Further information

Whether you are looking to hire an apprentice, or considering undertaking an apprenticeship yourself, there is a wealth of information and resources available to ease the stress and point you in the right direction.

YMCA Training can guide you through the entire process of hiring an apprentice. Contact Sallyann Smith at

GoLandscape can help talk you through the different career routes available within the industry, and help you to make an informed decision whether landscaping is right for you. Visit their website at

Horticulture Careers will advertise your apprenticeship role to a targeted audience completely free of charge. Contact Liam Colclough at, or by calling 01903 446076.





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