Grounds maintenance contractor, Quadron idverde is helping unemployed Londoners gain the skills they need to return to work with an innovative training scheme in partnership with Get Set UK, Wandsworth Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
Candidates from Government Work Programme provider, Get Set UK, have embarked on a Level 1 Diploma in Land Based Studies with Quadron idverde, following a successful Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) application, made in partnership with Wandsworth Council. Quadron idverde will be delivering the Accredited Education and Learning component as part of the Tooting Common Heritage Project.
Get Set UK is an employability provider that seeks to place unemployed candidates into work placement positions so that they can gain skills that will help them secure sustainable employment and move away from dependence on benefits. Learners have been working with Quadron idverde staff on the company’s Wandsworth and Kensington contracts recently to learn a few tricks of the trade prior to their course starting on 12th April 2016.
The team’s first task involved pruning epicormic and basal growth on trees at Tooting Common and Wandsworth Cemetery. After candidates received a full Quadron idverde company induction and carried out the necessary site and task based risk assessments, candidates received their PPE. The team then went out with Wandsworth Arboriculture Manager, Pat Langley, and Quadron idverde Corporate Development Manager, Andrew Kauffman, to tackle epicormic and basal growth to trees at Tooting Common and Wandsworth Cemetery. The team worked extremely well to complete the task, and received positive feedback from the Quadron idverde team and Wandsworth client.
Quadron idverde supervisor, Len Robinson, said: “It has been great working with the team from Get Set who have volunteered with Quadron at Tooting Common and Wandsworth Cemetery. We are glad the candidates have been put forward to the Level 1 Diploma in Land Based Studies (Environmental Conservation) linked to the Heritage Lottery Accredited Training Course, good luck to all!”
Wandsworth Parks Manager Biodiversity Kevin Freed added: “The Get Set group are friendly, enthusiastic and willing to learn, asking relevant questions and comprehending answers. A variety of different tasks have been programed to increase the knowledgebase and I hope that this introduction into land based studies will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all candidates.”
Following the successful completion of the tasks at Tooting Common and Wandworth Park, the Get Set teams moved on to Kensington and Chelsea’s Holland Park, to work with Quadron idverde Head Gardener, Rob May, and the glasshouse team to learn about the process of preparing amenity bedding plants for display in parks and gardens.
The team thoroughly enjoyed the amenity horticulture experience and transplanted a grand total of 4,000 plugs into pots that will be grown on in the Holland Park Glasshouse until they are ready to be planted out and used in the Royal Borough’s bedding displays in late May.
Quadron idverde head gardener Rob May said: “It was a delight to work with such an enthusiastic team of volunteers. All were keen to learn the different elements that go into working in a nursery. They exceeded all expectations.”
Quadron idverde’s assistant grounds maintenance manager in Kensington and Chelsea, Ben Martin, added: “The Get Set Land Based Studies Group have been of great assistance throughout their time at Holland Park. They worked well with the Quadron staff potting on summer bedding in the green house, managing to pot on a total of over 4,000 bedding plants including pelargoniums, salvia and nicotiana. We very much appreciate the work they have done here.”
The Get Set UK team are now all set to start their Level 1 Diploma in Land Based Studies, beginning with reprofiling ditch lines on Totting Common and constructing bait boxes at Tooting Common Pond. Quadron idverde looks forward to continuing to support them as they work towards their qualification.