10 Jul 2015
Jesse Novotny commenced his Certificate 3 in Horticulture Parks and Gardens in January 2011. Completing in 3 ½ years, Jesse won 2nd Year High Achiever with 1300apprentice in 2012 and was selected to attend the Chelsea Flower Show in 2013.
Why did you choose the Parks & Gardens Apprenticeship?
You’re always doing something different every day. I’ve always had a passion for gardening and being outdoors, it’s rewarding and it’s great to be a part of a team.
What was the most challenging aspect of this trade?
Learning the botanical names of plants can be challenging. You just need to put in the extra effort and you’ll be surprised with how quick you pick them up. It’s like anything, if you keep practising, you’ll get there.
The weather! It can get pretty hot in summer and the opposite in winter. It’s important to stay hydrated all of the time, even in winter. You also need to eat well and wear the correct PPE.
What was your best moment as an apprentice?
Winning at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2013 and meeting Prince Harry while I was over there. It was an amazing experience, a lot of hard work but it was well worth it.
What do you see as the benefits of completing a Parks & Gardens Apprenticeship?
Being a part of a team and becoming a professional at your own game. There are endless possibilities; you can even start up your own business. There will always be a need for beautiful gardens and the opportunity to work anywhere in the world. I don’t plan on being on the tools forever, there’s plenty of opportunities to move up in the industry.
Since completing your apprenticeship, what’s changed?
I have more responsibility, I’m a Team Leader now and have 4 colleagues I oversee. I’m also starting to do the rostering and order plants, tools, landscape supplies and look after the work experience students. We’re starting another division which will see me out on the road quoting, working with high-end clients and doing external jobs. I’m learning a lot about starting up a new business and looking forward to being a part of growing it.
Describe your usual day.
I start at 7am and now being in a supervisory role I meet with my colleagues every morning and provide a structure of the day ahead. Overseeing the day to day operations, I’m continuously developing the knowledge of my colleagues by teaching them as much as I can. Often I’m ordering products, landscape supplies or tools and I’m also working on the tools. I’m often hedging, pruning, weeding, fertilising and watering plants. I usually finish up at 3:30pm but I never leave a job unfinished!
Would you recommend this apprenticeship to someone, why?
Definitely, it’s a great career path if you enjoy the outdoors. It’s really rewarding seeing a job completed knowing that you contributed to it. I often get comments on the jobs we’ve done through our clients, visitors and colleagues. It’s a positive trade to be in, there’s just something about being outdoors that makes it so enjoyable.
Words of wisdom to someone thinking about doing this trade.
You get out of it what you put in!
Future plans and aspirations.
I’m looking into completing my landscaping apprenticeship so that I can have a dual qualification which will open up my opportunities. Maybe one day down the track I’ll have my own successful business.