City council workers branch out to achieve horticultural NVQs
Forty green fingered city council workers are celebrating after branching out and gaining NVQs in horticulture.
The employees, who achieved level two and level three qualifications, are responsible for sprucing up the city’s public spaces, parks and crematoriums.
They will use their newly honed skills to improve the appearance of Stoke-on-Trent, supporting the Mandate for Change by making the city more attractive to visitors, businesses and investors.
Councillor Andy Platt, cabinet member for green enterprises and clean city, said: “It is vitally important for Stoke-on-Trent’s economic prosperity that the city is clean, tidy and attractive – these aims are a key part of our Mandate for Change. People want to visit places that look pleasant and businesses want to set up shop in towns and cities that have a sense of pride. The work that these teams carry out plays a key role in generating wealth for the city and its residents - a welcome boost in what continue to be tough economic times.”
As part of the course, members of staff delivered projects at city council properties. They worked closely with tenants, carrying out initiatives from planning to completion, and with set resources and budgets.
One of the projects was to create a garden behind a block of maisonette flats at Tawney Crescent in Meir. The area was overgrown and had been targeted by fly tippers. The workers cleared the waste and created a vegetable plot for tenants.
They also studied plant identification, how best to tackle weeds and grounds maintenance in great depth.
The teams will be presented with their NVQ certificates at Rodbaston Hall in Penkridge tomorrow (December 19).
Councillor Olwen Hamer, cabinet member for transformation and resources, said:
“The city council relies upon the skills and enthusiasm of its staff and these employees have proved that they have both attributes in abundance. We recognise that our teams are the most valuable resource we have and we are 100 per cent committed to developing their skills for the benefit of Stoke-on-Trent. The teams have worked hard to achieve the NVQs and can now put the expert knowledge they have gained into practice, making the city a great place to live.”
Grounds supervisor Rob Hambleton, who took part in the course and has worked at the city council for a total of 19 years, added:
“The course has been really beneficial for the whole team and means that we can offer an even better service to residents. The team already had a sound understanding of their field but the NVQs have allowed us to build on that knowledge and mean that we can be even more creative, making Stoke-on-Trent a great place to live.”