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We’re very happy to share the exciting news that our first two apprentices have passed their qualifications.

Our Plants Assistant, Alfie Taylor has gained a Horticulture Operative Level 2 qualification and Joinery Assistant, Brandon Cox has completed Level 2 Carpentry and Joinery with distinction.

Of his achievement, Alfie said: “I’m so grateful to the People and Culture team for giving me this opportunity. It has given me horticultural knowledge and practical skills to carry out horticultural tasks and has helped me to plan my future career path. I would recommend apprenticeships to anyone wanting to earn while they learn.”

Alfie’s line manager, Marc Salama is delighted with his progress: “Alfie now has the ability and confidence to take responsibility for areas within the outdoor department, especially within landscaping and I’m confident he can teach a small group effectively. His knowledge base extends from chemicals and fertilisers to planting and maintenance, so he adds value to both the plants and the garden sundries departments.

Brandon is justifiably proud of his achievements, having gained a distinction in both his portfolio and final assessment: “I really enjoy putting my new skills into practice each day and am very grateful for this opportunity. I’m enjoying the break from studying whilst considering if I will go on to complete further qualifications in carpentry and joinery.”

His line manager, Kevin Smith said: “Brandon is always the first to get stuck into projects and now has the skills to do a wide range of jobs from building our award-winning display structures, creating a plant pot recycling station, completing shop fittings and helping to build our cabins at Mission Out.”

Head of People and Culture, Neil Barwise-Carr said: “Apprenticeships at all levels are a great way to acquire skills whilst learning on the job. For the students, they’re earning whilst they’re learning, and for us, we have employees with valuable skills that they can build on to progress their career with us as we grow.

“We pride ourselves on nurturing our team and Alfie and Brandon are just two examples of people we have invested in. We are currently supporting a number of colleagues, including our Finance Manager, Harriet Kelly to acquire her Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) qualification and our People, Culture & Sustainability Business Partner, Steph Bates to gain a Level 5 Associate Diploma in People Management.

For more information about career opportunities at Tong and other sites in the Yorkshire Garden Centres group that include Tingley, Otley and Bingley Garden Centres, visit


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