Crichton Trust – From Acorns to Oaks

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.”

For more information about how DYW can help your business engage with young people, contact 

Crichton Trust

Download Full Case Study


DYW DG has helped Bank of Scotland give young people in Stranraer new avenues in which to explore opportunities locally and in the wider region. Our talk at Stranraer Academy, arranged by DYW, gave students and parents the opportunity to understand the options available in the local area. With DYW's help and support, Bank of Scotland have been able to reach out to the local community and give young people in the area an idea of what retail banking involves.

Craig Daniel, Manager, Bank of Scotland, Stranraer branch

At Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES), we are committed to advancing equality of opportunity. The partnership we have established with DWY DG will allow us to reach out to more young people, including young women. We want to highlight the variety of roles and careers in the industry and encourage young people to consider an apprenticeship with FES as a pathway into a career in forestry, and DYW DG are important and valued partners in this process.

Ashley Woodhouse, Forest Enterprise Scotland

The feedback from the pupils was fantastic and we were over the moon with how our first site visit went  – it was so exciting to hear how enthusiastic the young people were about a future career with the industry and how our different team members had inspired them to look at certain roles that they hadn’t necessarily thought about before.

Emma Porteous, Marketing Manager, Robinsons, Lockerbie


Before DYW approached us, we didn’t have the confidence to consider employing a young person straight from school. We didn’t know quite what to expect, or even where to start looking for the right young person. But with DYW’s help, it became a quick and easy process. DYW put in the time – they came to visit us, were always there with help and support, and their enthusiasm for the young people who came to visit us really shone through and helped us engage with them.

Murray Farm Care


As part of our School visit programme, working with DYW DG, we had the pleasure of attending Stranraer Academy. We received a very warm welcome and had a lovely day with the teachers and children. The children were so engaging and excited about the prospect of employment within the rail industry and we found the whole experience to be a humbling one. A huge thank you to DYW DG for organising!

Sandra Cahill, Project Manager, Scot Rail HR