There’s a crisis of resource in the industry. It has been coming for years as fewer and fewer young people come in the business of horticulture, forestry and agricuture. But now it is acute and we are all having to get very creative and focsued on how we can ensure we have good people, who are skilled and work safely, to deliver the service required.
It some ways, the shortage of people should be a wake-up call to the industry:
There is a huge gap (and therefore a HUGE opportunity) for the colleges to get into the schools and talk to young people at 14 or so as they are thinking about their options. There’s another opportunity for companies like ours to get into colleges to talk to the Arboricuture students about the world of work, and to help them prepare.
And there is a huge gap between leaving college and getting into work. Many young people we talk to have no clue about the ways in which good firms advertise their jobs, and find themselves working with very small outfits who may not have good employment practices (no employment contracts, no employment rights, low pay and poor conditions) and unsafe working practices (no clear health and safety focus, no risk assessment, unsafe equipment).
What can be done? One of the Directors at Primary Tree Surgeons comes from a training background and chews our ears off about this on a weekly basis. She likes nothing more than taking on a young person who is not confient, and supporting them to become the very best they can be.
We’re looking forward to welcoming another work experience student in April, and to making a contribution to his development as he begins his career.
Here’s young Oliver, who joined us over a year ago and like many others, came straight from college, with a little bit of knowledge, and a good intention to learn. He’s been off with the boss this week getting some intense one-to-one training.
For advice and a free quote for work to your trees and hedges, call Andrew on 01256 817369, 07771 883061 or email him Andrew@primarytreesurgeons.co.uk For more stories and information about our day-to-day work visit us on Twitter@PrimaryTreeSurg