Anja’s growing reputation lands a national prize - The Evesham Observer

Anja’s growing reputation lands a national prize

Evesham Editorial 11th Dec, 2022   0

AN EVESHAM horticulturist has received a major regional apprenticeship prize and has now secured a place on a prestigious programme at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Anja Seymour was named Advanced Level Apprentice of the Year at the Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards 2022 after completing an apprenticeship with Pershore College.

The 20-year-old completed the two-year apprenticeship in Horticulture while working for Cotswold Garden Flowers and has begun the three-year Kew Diploma in Horticulture programme at the iconic botanic gardens.

Anja received the award in a ceremony held at West Midlands Safari Park which celebrated the best apprentices, employers, training providers, schools and apprentice champions from across Worcestershire.

On completion of her apprenticeship with Pershore College, Anja was supported by her employer and tutors at the college to apply for the Kew Diploma, the world’s foremost qualification in botanical horticulture.

The qualification is self-accredited by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and is viewed as a Higher Education qualification.

Anja said: “I was quite surprised to win the award but it was a really good evening and a great way to sign-off from my apprenticeship.

“I finished my A-Levels in lockdown and was assessing what to do next. I had done a lot of gardening with my grandparents growing up and enjoyed it a lot, so I decided to look at horticulture.

“I started doing work experience at Cotswold Garden Flowers and after a couple of months the manager offered me an apprenticeship. Two years on and I’ve won this award, so that’s been quite a big jump!

“I had excellent support from my college tutor, Mark Diggines, during my study weeks and throughout my apprenticeship. During our course, Mark encouraged our class to enter Young Horticulturist of the Year in which I got third place at the Regional Finals.

“Mark supported me with the application to Kew and I got the place – which was amazing. The diploma will see me get the chance to learn from some of the world’s very best and experience roles across the Royal Botanic Gardens.”

Mark Diggines, Trainer/Assessor in Horticulture at Pershore College, said: “We are all incredibly proud of Anja and her achievements. She impressed us from the first day at college and has a very bright future ahead of her in horticulture.

“Securing a place on the diploma at Kew further exemplifies her strengths as a student and we look forward to continuing to follow her career closely as her development continues.”

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