Glendale’s South West Academy

In 2015 Glendale announced the extension of its successful Arb Academy to include grounds maintenance candidates.

Originally launched in 2013  as a way to train specialist utility arboriculture staff, Glendale’s Arb Academy was extended to enable apprentices and trainees to undertake a structured training programme that includes an NVQ level 2 in Horticulture.  The extended training scheme, now known as the South West Academy, covers all of Glendale’s South West based contracts including those with North Somerset Council, Torbay Council and Spectrum Housing.

In Torbay, the South West Academy is delivered in association with Torbay Council in order to give candidates full access to all areas of amenity horticulture.

In North Somerset, the Academy is run in partnership with the Groundwork Trust and Team North Somerset and provides a unique 18-24 month programme of training.

The North Somerset programme is bespoke and includes a level 2 Diploma in Horticulture and a level 2 Diploma in Streetscene Public Service ensuring it covers all elements of the multi-service contract held by Glendale in North Somerset.  In order to provide lifelong learning and staff development, the North Somerset programme is open to both new apprentices and existing members of staff.

Twenty-year-old Phillip Denford is an apprentice with the South West Academy in North Somerset.  He comments: “My favourite part of the apprenticeship with Glendale is working outside in the natural environment.  Joining the scheme has allowed me to experience a working environment whilst gaining a qualification and it has increased my confidence.  My most rewarding experience on the apprenticeship so far has been working with the mechanical sweepers.”

The South West Academy has allowed for continued investment in the workforce across the region, building staff confidence and morale which has had a positive impact on overall service quality and productivity.

Terry Doyle, regional director for the South West, comments: “The South West Academy has been a tremendous success.  The rollout across the region in 2015 has allowed for Glendale to invest in every level of the workforce with new candidates who have started a career with Glendale and existing staff being invested in.  2015 saw an additional 24 members of staff commence the Academy and develop a career in arboriculture, horticulture and streetscene public service.”


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