June 15, 2016
Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont. received approval from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) to offer the Horticulture Technician Apprenticeship program alongside industry partner Connon Nurseries in Quinte West beginning in January.

The apprenticeship program, which allows participants to “earn while they learn,” includes 720 hours of in-school training and 5,400 hours of on-the-job training.

Ann Drennan, Dean of the School of Applied Sciences, Skills & Technology, says the program will be a boost for the green profession in the Bay of Quinte region. “We are delighted to introduce the new Horticulture Technician Apprenticeship, which combines in-class college education and on-the-job training,” Drennan says. “This partnership with Connon Nurseries, involving Landscape Ontario and its members in Eastern Ontario, creates an excellent pathway for individuals to pursue a rewarding career in landscape horticulture. Given the shortage of skilled labour in this field and the increasing emphasis on sustainability, graduates’ expansive career options range from design and growth to installation and maintenance of green infrastructure.”

Sally Harvey, Landscape Ontario Manager of Education, Labour Development and Eastern Ontario Region agrees. “We are very aware of the importance and opportunity that the apprenticeship training program provides to our industry and for the Canadian economy. For this reason, we supported and endorsed Loyalist College in applying to become a teaching delivery agent for the Horticulture Technician program in our Upper Canada Chapter. Landscape Ontario has identified apprenticeship training programs as a top priority to meet our HR skills development and competency objectives in response to the known skilled labour gap. In an effort to meet the demand of the industry and provide a trained workforce, Landscape Ontario has allocated funding and resources to assist in developing and streamlining the apprenticeship registration process in Eastern Ontario for employers, apprentices and industry. This increased demand will require relevant and expanded infrastructure to provide apprentices with specialized training in their local region. We support Loyalist as we are confident that the industry can drive sustainable registration intake and completions.”

To register, employers and qualified employees can visit horticulturetechnician.ca or contact Alex Gibson at 613-518-3268 or apprenticeship@landscapeontario.com.