WRAGS is a scheme run by the WFGA for its members. The Work and Retrain As a Gardener Scheme offers an opportunity to train part time in practical gardening skills in a working garden, within their home location, as part of a gardening team or with an experienced Garden Owner. The training covers 14 hours per week over 12 months. You will be paid the national living wage by the garden owner, and you are also entitled to up to 12 days paid holiday for the year.
The WRAG scheme is only open to members of the WFGA - membership must be retained throughout the placement year.
When completing an application form for membership an applicant can register for the WRAG Scheme on the same form, either as a Trainee or Owner. If you decide after joining WFGA that you would like to do WRAGS then please contact the office.
To cover all four seasons and complete the practical gardening skills trainees train for up to 14 hours per week over 12 months.
Your local Regional Manager will endeavour to place you in a garden as local to you as possible but in some areas this could be quite a distance away.
You can take the time off that you have accrued at a mutually agreed time with the garden owner / head gardener. This is a maximum of 12 days for the total year which will be paid at £7.20 hr.
Your details are passed to the Regional Manager for your area. You will receive a phone call to discuss the scheme, how it works, what is available in your area etc. When a placement comes available you will receive an interview at the garden. If all parties are happy you have a two week probation period to make sure the scheme is right for you. The registration fee of £600 becomes payable after the probation period.
All training establishments charge for their services. This Scheme does not qualify for government funding as it is designed for mature students learning practical skills. The fees charged cover the costs of sourcing gardens, setting up placements and monitoring the training year with garden visits by locally based WRAGS Regional Managers, and office support from the staff in Cirencester.
Our training scheme offers the opportunity to all who want to gain the confidence to consider a career in horticulture, however you do need to have some existing gardening knowledge e.g. acquired from your own/family garden or allotment, otherwise it will be difficult to make the most of your placement.
There are a limited number of placements available. Please note that joining WFGA does not necesarily guarantee you a WRAGS training place. Placements are subject to interview and waiting times vary throughout the country - sometimes you can be offered an interview at a garden almost immediately after registering - sometimes it can be some months and occasionally longer. In the larger cities - especially London - there are fewer gardens and more people wanting to do the training. In which case be prepared to wait a long time or be prepared to travel out into the country. Whilst you wait you can take full advantage of being a WFGA member and attend the Workshops and Workdays.
Yes, you will be expected to work outside in all weathers wearing the appropriate footwear & wet weather clothing & other protective equipment as required. It is an important part of the training to learn to plan gardening tasks to take account of the weather conditions for each season”.
The placement should be treated in the same way as paid work & trainees are expected to be reliable & consistent. Clearly a genuine emergency is different.
When making the decision to train you need to consider your work commitments, health, travel costs and timings and childcare arrangements prior to application.
This is a training scheme - you will be expected to keep notes and file monthly reports to your local Regional Manager - this all takes extra time additional to the time spent in the garden
Many trainees have transferable skills from their previous roles: you should be self-motivated, enthusiastic, willing to try new challenges and have time management and problem solving abilities and a desire for personal development.
The WFGA award each trainee with a certificate on completion of a twelve month placement with the name of the garden where the training took place. A WRAGS seminar is held annually to explore the employment opportunities in horticulture and a workshop ‘Starting Up a Business’ is held to advise trainees on self-employment.
The placement of a trainee is for up to 14 hours per week over one year. The decision to offer a placement is made by the Garden Owner and arrangements are established at the time of interview.
Many Garden Owners relate the advantages of having a trainee who is enthusiastic, committed and eager to learn. Prior to the completion of a placement arrangements are started by the Regional Manager for a follow on trainee.
We require only that a garden owner joins WFGA as a member to participate in the scheme.