Apprenticeship qualification recognises skills at award winning company

27 November 2023

The addition of an apprenticeship qualification to their years of experience in landscaping is helping to set a career future for two South Island landscapers.

Laurent Hilty and Kurtis Forge work for award-winning Green Therapy, crafting and constructing outdoor spaces in natural environments and residential properties throughout Canterbury and Otago. 

Both experienced landscapers, the pair have been completing the Primary ITO | Te Pūkenga New Zealand Apprenticeship in Landscape Construction.  

Laurent is a trained arborist, has been a landscaper for the past seven years, and has now completed the apprenticeship. “I have also worked in other fields of horticulture and viticulture, so I wanted this qualification to recognise the skills I have.” 

Laurent recommends the programme for those starting out in landscaping and says having a supportive employer and someone they can learn from on-the-job is most important to ensure success. 

Kurtis says he found the programme beneficial for learning about regulations, plants and outside environments, and different approaches to doing jobs like re-enforcing concrete.

Kurtis is currently completing Level 4 of the programme and says becoming qualified will be special for him. 

“I found school difficult and have never got a qualification before, so this is very good for me to achieve this and have recognition for my knowledge and experience. I will stay in this career because I really love this work and the creative side that it also offers.”

Green Therapy Director Bryce Coulter says before undertaking the training, both landscapers were experienced and helping to manage staff. “Doing this training has been important to recognise the level they are working at and their existing skills.” 

Green Therapy is an award-winning company. In 2022 it was the supreme winner at the Registered Master Landscapers Landscapes of Distinction Awards and in 2023 won two golds and a silver at the awards.  

Bryce says giving staff the opportunity to train and gain qualifications is part of a wider strategy to grow the business capability and recognise the value of team members and their achievements.  

He says he will continue to offer training opportunities. “What is really good about this learning is that it prompts a lot of questions, learning and sharing of information in the team. 

“It is always important to recognise the skills you have and to keep learning. Onsite learning is best for those new to the industry, but the study definitely has benefits and supports the practical skills we are teaching on the job.” 

Primary ITO | Te Pūkenga training advisers support employers and learners to progress through training programmes.  

Training Adviser Lyn Henry says Green Therapy is a good example of an employer that is supporting and advancing its team. “It shows that having apprentices is achievable even in a small team because we are there to support employers and learners. It is very successful when we all work together.”

For more information on Primary ITO | Te Pūkenga landscape construction programmes, click here

Get in touch with your local Training Adviser on 0800 20 80 20 email [email protected] or click here