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Apprentice: Grounds (Horticulture Level 3)

To be responsible for the day-to-day up keep of the grounds and gardens and future development of University grounds.

This will be done with the assistance from other grounds colleagues, using provided machinery and equipment with appropriate protective clothing and instruction. This is a post for an out-door worker with standing, walking, heavy handling and use of machinery.

Training and Qualification:

As part of your Apprenticeship, you will be required to complete a 2 year training programme that will cover all aspects of the role and will be delivered through specify delivery method e.g on the job training / day-release / other distance learning methods.

The training will be delivered by a training provider to be confirmed.

You will have an assigned assessor who will provide you with additional training sessions and assessments to gain the qualification. You will have a portfolio to work through and gather evidence during your role.

During the Apprenticeship, a minimum of 20% of the role will be off the job training.

After the Apprenticeship:

Although there is no guarantee, there is a possibility of future employment with the University of Worcester at the end of the apprenticeship if a vacancy exists.

The candidate will be also studying towards a Level 3 in Horticulture qualification in horticulture alongside their other day to day roles. The qualification requires you to gain leadership and supervisory skills.



Closing date: Sunday 26 Nov 2017

Reference number: FM1714 - 3462

Job details

Job details

£8.38 an hour plus £1.17 an hour holiday pay with opportunity to progress to £8.42 an hour plus £1.18 an hour holiday pay
37 hours a week (with occasional weekends required to cover events)
As soon as possible
Temporary for 2 years
Responsible to
Grounds Manager
Responsible for
Interview date


For more information about the department visit the Facilities website.



Becoming an Apprentice at the University of Worcester is an excellent opportunity to gain practical experience and training. You will work alongside experienced colleagues, whilst learning on the job and appropriate objectives will be set during the course of the Apprenticeship. At the same time, you will study for formal qualifications in your field.
More information on Apprenticeships at the University of Worcester and testimonials from current and past Apprentices can be found at:

Also visit Worcestershire Apprenticeship Hub at:

The University of Worcester is a high quality University with an international reputation for excellent, inclusive education, as well as a dynamic engine for social and economic development in the region. We are known for creative, high achieving work with partner organisations and for promoting equal opportunities.

The St Johns Campus is located close to the Worcester city centre. It is characterised by relatively low-density development with non-residential and residential buildings of a range of ages and designs. There are extensive playing fields and the campus is attractively landscaped. The residential student Halls provides 789 bed spaces.

The City Centre Campus is within walking distance of the St Johns Campus at Henwick Grove, The Worcester Business School is based on here together with student Halls providing 176 bed spaces.

The Riverside Campus is located between the St Johns and City Campus’ is the location for the University Arena and the Riverside Building.

The University also have a number of satellite sites ranging from sports fields to student accommodation.
Campus Services are based within the Facilities Department, which covers a wide range of services within University of Worcester, including Halls of Residence, Cleaning, Estates, Campus Services Assistants, Grounds, Reception, Commercial bookings and Catering. We also work very closely with Student Services supporting the University Community Development Workers.

Students living and studying on campus come from a range of backgrounds, cultures and communities and the primary task of the Facilities department is to ensure all University of Worcester students live in a harmonious, secure, tolerant and respectful environment conducive to learning and personal development.




Main duties

Main duties

1. To carry out day-to-day maintenance of the gardens, grounds and associated areas across all University Sites under the direction of the Grounds Supervisor or Senior Grounds Person.

2. To study and carry out any training related to gaining your Level 3 in Horticulture qualification.

3. To develop leadership skills.

4. To assist the Grounds team in any Biodiversity research associated with the University grounds.

5. To work alongside apprentices and help develop their skills.

6. To report any damages and breakages to the Grounds Supervisor.

7. To carry out maintenance and up keep of all sports amenities, including artificial surfaces belonging to the University.

8. To use, maintain and control equipment, tools and materials associated with the role.

9. To wear protective/visible clothing provided for personal safety and well-being.

10. To use tractor and trailer and tractor-mounted machines across all University sites.

11. To liaise with colleagues to further the objectives of Grounds maintenance, its development and efficient service delivery.

12. To assist academic staff by maintaining resources for practical research e.g. bird boxes, greenhouses, etc.

13. To remove day to day waste materials across all sites e.g. recycling, litter picking and emptying of bins.

14. To be responsible and provide assistance when fire alarm sounds, including marshalling staff to Fire Evacuation points.

15. To identify and address your own development needs in consultation with line management.

16. To attend any work related training as directed by the Grounds Supervisor.

17. To carry out any other task as required within the general level of skill and reasonable expectation of the role.

18. To carry and operate a two way radio. 

*Maintain personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the job; participate in appropriate training activities and encourage and support staff in their development and training.

*Take steps to ensure and enhance personal health, safety and well being and that of other staff and students.

*Carry out these duties in a manner that promotes equality of opportunity and supports diversity and inclusion, and takes into account the University's commitment to environmentally sustainable ways of working.



Person specification

Person specification

Please provide evidence of how you meet each of the essential criteria.

Essential Criteria

1. Hold a current full clean driving licence to enable use of University vehicles.

2. NVQ Level 2 in Horticulture qualified.

3. Ability to demonstrate excellent customer service skills.

4. The ability to write reports, emails, handover notes, carry out calculations, etc., as required for the role.

5. Relevant work experience within parks and gardens or related sport amenities.

6. Experience of use of and ability to use mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, etc.

7. A flexible approach to work, in relation to being able to work some weekends as necessary.

8. Ability to make decisions and sound judgements.

9. Good interpersonal and excellent oral communication skills with the ability to communicate effectively confidently and clearly with a range of audiences including senior managers, academic staff, internal colleagues, students and external contacts.

10. Ability to work in a team as well as independently.

11. Computer literacy skills, including ability to use Microsoft Office (Word and Outlook). 

Desirable Criteria

1. Ability to drive a tractor with a trailer.

2. Certificates in (pesticide) spraying or a willingness to undertake and obtain an appropriate qualification within 12 months of being in post.

3. Experience of maintaining sports playing fields.

4. A chain saw certification

5. Knowledge of Health and Safety at Work in a grounds environment.

6. Ability to undertake greenhouse work - seed sowing, propagation and watering.

7. Background knowledge of machinery maintenance i.e. maintenance on lawn mowers.

Applications from Non EEA Workers:
Prospective applicants are advised to ensure that they are eligible to work in the UK without restriction.

Prospective applicants in points-based system immigration routes should assess their circumstances against the published criteria, which are set out on the GOV.UK website at

Visit for more information on how you can use a qualification from outside the UK to meet the requirements of the immigration rules.

Unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs
The University is strongly committed to the fair treatment of its staff and potential staff, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibility for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

In line with the University's policy on the Recruitment of People with a Criminal Record, shortlisted candidates are required to provide information of any unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs. Applicants are advised to seek independent advice if there is any doubt about the status of a previous conviction, caution or bind-over. Disclosures will only be considered at the point when an offer of employment is made. The existence of a criminal record will not in itself prevent you from gaining employment.

This is a description of the job as it is presently constituted. This job description is intended to enable a flexible approach to be offered working across the University as required. It is subject to review and amendment in the light of changing needs of the University and to provide appropriate development opportunities. Members of staff are expected to participate fully in discussions about changing requirements and it is the University's aim to reach agreement to reasonable change. If agreement is not possible, it reserves the right to require changes to the job description after consultation with the individual concerned.



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