November 2, 2016
The landscape industry is rapidly expanding across the province, however, as the profession grows, our workforce is not increasing to meet this demand. Often with seasonal work, companies have encountered difficulties maintaining a motivated and highly-skilled workforce throughout the entire year. Thus, it is vital our industry adapts and cultivates more internal interest in the profession and support employee growth and development within individual companies.

Research shows that it costs significantly more resources to hire and train new staff than it does to retain and develop a current employee. By utilizing methods found in the Landscape Ontario HR Toolkit ( and by instituting training and development programs within your company, you can work to retain staff and target employees that will help your company prosper. Training and development programs are a win/win method for both the employer and apprentice. Training increases knowledge and depth within the profession which will produce a more loyal and competent employee for your company.

There are a number of benefits for an employer to train and develop their staff, including:
  • Motivating employees: It demonstrates to them they are valuable enough for the company to invest in their development.
  • Creating positive work culture.
  • Cost-effectiveness.
  • Increasing health and safety on the job.
  • Increasing productivity and higher work quality.
  • A well-trained employee will be better acquainted with the job and will require less supervision.

An employee who feels part of a team and supported by their employer can better envision their future in their profession and will be more willing to invest their time and effort back to their employer. There are a number of programs and resources employers can utilize to help develop and train staff, such as: college diploma programs, LO seminars and the Apprenticeship Program.

Develop staff through the Apprenticeship Program

The Apprenticeship Program is a cost-effective training resource ‘gift’ for employers to take advantage of to develop and retain staff. The program is a mix of 20 per cent in-class training and 80 per cent on-the-job training. The program is Red-Seal-recognized and encompasses a broad based technical curriculum. An apprentice works with their employer to complete a training standard based on trade competencies (log book), two in-class training sessions, and approximately 5,400 on-the-job training hours. The apprenticeship program supports employees you already have and demonstrates your commitment and investment in their future within the profession.

In-class training for the apprenticeship program is offered at five colleges across the province during the winter months (usually January to March). This in-class training is subsidized by the Ontario Government. In-class training costs approximately $600 per term, plus books and tools. As long as they qualify, some apprentices are also eligible to collect E.I. while attending their in-class training. Having your employee in school during the off-season will help develop their skills and they will come back better equipped and trained to work for your company.

Along with countless training benefits, there are also a number of financial incentives available for both employers and apprentices. To leverage both the financial and operational benefits of the Apprenticeship Program, Landscape Ontario can provide administrative support to any employer looking to support or register an apprentice to help make the process as easy as possible.

Register apprentices today

For more information on employee retention support, visit our HR Toolkit and click on the Retention Tab, then select Training and Development.
For more information about the Apprenticeship Program or to register, visit or contact Alex Gibson at 613-809-5093 or