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APL hold first landscape masterclass

APL has carried out the first landscaper masterclass in a series that will run throughout 2016

The Association of Professional Landscapers has held its first masterclass for landscapers



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3 November 2015

The first of the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) masterclasses took place in the UK from the 26th – 30th October, hosted by North Warwickshire and Hinckley college. The masterclass saw seven young landscapers enter into a 5-day intensive Paving course run by Jody and Tim Lidgard, from The Landscapes Skills Academy.

The aim of the workshops is to improve the abilities of young landscapers, and so improve the landscaping industry. “It’s a skill area where the industry is lacking,” says Jody.

Following individual assessments the training was tailored to cater for the range of experience present, from beginners who are new to the industry, going on to advanced who were working with more high-end stone.

Of the focus of the training, Jody said: “The important points to hone are consistently working on a prepared bed which in turn makes the laying process easier. I’m conscious of them working cleanly and efficiently, and getting used to doing a full day of paving. Although it’s a simulated environment, they are still experiencing 6-8 hour days.”

APL supporters Makita delivered their ‘Be Safe’ course focusing on safety philosophy for good workshop and site practice, adding a further dimension to the Masterclass.

Bespoke Outdoor Spaces Ltd, told us that he found the work “enjoyable,” and that he had “learnt a great deal.” There was much complementary talk about the two trainers, Jody and Tim. “They were helpful and patient, and catered their training to the different skill levels of each landscaper.”

Earthstone Landscapes Ltd, described the work as “challenging,” but confirmed that this was a positive thing as he was guided through marking out and cutting a sandstone paved area. After a couple of days of working together the delegates began helping each other and offering their own advice, which was no surprise as Jody believed that they were “really starting to create bonds within the group with them all working towards the same goal.”

The APL will be delivering more paving masterclasses in 2016/17, as well as covering other aspects of landscaping skill areas, for both beginners and more advanced individuals. The supports the wider APL Careers Programme to professionally develop landscapers.

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