Trainee Technician scheme

Grade 1, £16,654 pa
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Each year vacancies under the Trainee Technician scheme are available for people wishing to pursue a career in horticulture by gaining practical experience.

The training is for a period of one year starting at the beginning of September. Based within the 40-acre Botanic Garden, the trainees are able to learn and perform the wide range of horticultural skills that are required to maintain a diverse collection of over 8,000 plants, which is of international importance.

The scheme is demanding and is intended for those wishing to gain experience in practical horticulture, collection management and plantsmanship. Trainees are part of the staff of the Botanic Garden and receive a salary.

Trainees who successfully complete the scheme will be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education in Practical Horticulture and Plantsmanship by the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education, which works closely with the Botanic Garden. This award attracts 120 credits (Credit Accumulation Transfer [CAT] Points) at FHEQ level 4 (first-year undergraduate level). By the end of the course, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the roles of botanic gardens
2. Discuss and review issues relating to plant diversity and conservation
3. Demonstrate their ability and skill to cultivate and manage plant collections according to scientific principles

The trainees work with experienced Garden staff and rotate between the horticultural sections in the Garden: Trees and Shrubs; Demonstration and Display; Systematic Beds; Alpine and Woodland; Experimental; Glasshouse; Landscape and Machinery. Trainees work on each section, enabling them to experience how the management of each section changes with the seasons. The trainees form a significant proportion of the Garden’s workforce and are central to its horticultural operations.

The practical training is augmented by a weekly programme including talks, seminars, demonstrations, plant identifications, and visits to other gardens and sites of botanical significance. Trainees must attend all teaching sessions during the year in order to complete the qualification. There is an emphasis on plant diversity, basic taxonomic training and plant identification utilising the plant collections.

The application process for September 2019 will begin in December. Deadline for applications: TBC March 2019.
Interviews are expected to be held during April 2019.


What does being a trainee at the Garden involve? Read the trainee blog - click link (left)