The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) recently announced the creation of the Landscape Management Apprenticeship Program. The program, which is registered by the U.S. Department of Labor, offers job-seekers a path to a new career in the industry through a paid apprenticeship with a professional landscape company. With the formalization of the official apprenticeship program, the landscape profession is now considered a skilled trade, opening new doors for recruitment through school counselors, veterans’ groups and community workforce boards.
“Apprenticeships are a known solution for attracting and developing highly skilled employees in industries ranging from construction and plumbing to automotive, mechanical and more,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NALP. “The establishment of this program helps our industry to level the playing field when it comes to finding workers and building a pipeline of future employees. As an association, we are putting great emphasis into promoting this program through advertising, and outreach to schools, guidance counselors and veterans to help landscape contractors find quality apprenticeship candidates.”
“Apprenticeship programs are the golden ticket to recruiting and retaining top-tier talent,” says Henriksen. “Offering an apprenticeship program gives companies a competitive edge and allows the landscape profession to be more competitive with other industries struggling for entry-level talent.”
There is significant federal and state funding available for companies interested in starting an apprenticeship program, including grants for training and equipment. To be eligible to enroll in the apprenticeship program, companies must be in business for at least one year and be responsible for:
- Hiring new workers or selecting current employees to be apprentices.
- Ensuring that the apprentices are trained in the core competencies.
- Identifying an experienced mentor to work with each apprentice.
- Paying apprentices progressively higher wages as skills increase.
- Providing necessary participant information to the NALP.
- Enrolling participants and investing in the necessary required online training.
A full list of requirements and other information can be found in the NALP’s Landscape Management Apprenticeship Handbook. Interested companies can visit the NALP’s website to register for the Landscape Management Apprenticeship Program.