Crichton Trust – From Acorns to Oaks
In late 2017, the Crichton Trust met with DYW DG to discuss recruiting the next generation of maintenance and horticultural staff. With the assistance of DYW DG Programme Managers, the Trust employed two new trainee gardeners.
The Crichton Trust was established in 1996 to promote, regenerate and care for the Crichton Estate and other buildings of historic interest in Dumfries and Galloway. Crichton Campus offers a range of flexible full and part-time study opportunities in both Higher and Further education, set against a backdrop of historic buildings with modern facilities in beautiful landscaped grounds. These include a rock garden, waterfall, rose garden and ornamental pond.
With 85 acres of landscaped grounds featuring many botanical specimens, the Crichton Trust needs a year-round workforce of dedicated and hard working gardeners. However, the Trustees had recently realised that a new intake of staff was required, to ensure the continued successful management of the Estate. DYW DG Programme Managers facilitated meetings with Skills Development Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway and DGTAP, to look at training and funding opportunities and requirements.
DYW DG promoted the Trust’s vacancies for a horticultural trainee through their network of high school partners. DGTAP and Skills Development Scotland also promoted the vacancies and assisted candidates in their applications. DYW DG further helped in the recruitment process by looking at applications and CVs. 14 candidates were selected for interview, and two were recruited.
Susan Sutherland, Crichton Executive Officer, said, “We at the Trust found the experience of employing our two Horticulture Trainees to be a very positive one. The Trust Board had committed up to £30k to give young people a work experience opportunity with the Trust. DYW DG initially approached our Chief Executive to suggest that the Trust might be interested in employing a trainee, and this was followed up with a meeting with our Property Services Manager, when it was agreed that we take on two trainees in each area. It was slightly difficult at first to navigate the various organisations involved. DYW DG then arranged for a joint meeting between ourselves, Skills Development Scotland, DGTAP and DYW, when the process and financial arrangements were explained to us. This was extremely helpful and confirmed our route.
"Our trainees’ enthusiasm and interest in horticulture were apparent from the start, and they have fitted into our maintenance and horticulture team extremely well.
"DYW DG’s input and help coordinating the cooperation between agencies was invaluable. They guided us through what assistance was available and the processes involved in recruiting trainees. We would certainly use DYW’s contacts again, especially when accessing young talent.”
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