Posted on 05 April 2018
Landscaping student, Pascale Napier, recently took part in the official launch of BALI’s GoLandscape initiative at the RHS Garden Wisley.
GoLandscape is a BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) initiative which has been successfully piloted since November 2016. The mission of the initiative is to change false perceptions and misunderstandings about the landscape industry by sending industry professionals – ‘GoLandscape Ambassadors’ - into schools and colleges to present students, their parents and teachers, with the facts about the industry and the many challenging and worthwhile careers it offers. It is also designed to help reduce the skills gap in the industry by recruiting students and upskilling those already studying or working in the industry, along with promoting the benefits of landscaping to career changers nationwide.
The official launch was hosted by industry TV personality and presenter Tommy Walsh, and provided an inspirational day of garden tours, presentations and networking. Current Merrist Wood College student, Pascale Napier, took part in a question and answer session with other representatives of the younger generation of landscaping professionals who are about to, or have recently entered the industry. The panel, which also included Jake Catling a former Merrist Wood College student and owner of the Landscaping Consultants, and Ryan Lee an apprentice with the Outdoor Room, answered questions from Tommy Walsh and the audience about how they came into the industry and how they help to promote it.
So far the BALI’s GoLandscape initiative has been involved in various locales and events across the country, including careers and ex-forces fairs, college talks and a show garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2017, of which a number of Merrist Wood College’s Landscaping and Horticulture students helped to build.
Supported by BALI’s GoLandscape initiative, the 2017 ‘RHS Watch This Space’ show garden was built by landscaping apprentices, trainees and students, including Level 2 and 3 students from Merrist Wood College. Ashley Zymanczyk, Pascale Napier, Sarah Joyce, Om Gurung, Andrew Maw and Josh Bergson all took part in the build, which featured interconnecting gardens and re-imagined a number of elements from past RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens. This experience taught each student a wide-range of skills and gave them the opportunity to be mentored by leading industry contractors, whilst building a show garden for world-renowned designer Andy Sturgeon.
Stephen Ensell, BALI Education Officer, said; “The launch is just the start of a whole programme of activities and events we have planned for 2018 and beyond, working with our ambassadors to stimulate and support emerging talent from across the industry, and inspiring new generations of school leavers and college students to take up roles in landscaping.”
Pascale Napier commented: “The work experience opportunities I have been given by Merrist Wood College and GoLandscape have helped to set me up for the future.”