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Our work with Village Garden Services

Training ensures the grass is greener for Village Garden Services

Village Garden Services maintain everything from football pitches for schools to graveyards for local councils. Owner, Mark Russell, is keen to ensure that his staff are trained to a high standard, not only to ensure that they meet government requirements, but also to improve their competitiveness as a company.  Mark has turned to Shuttleworth College for his staff training because he knows they are local and specialise in land-based employer training.

Mark said:  “Many of the courses we go on are basic requirements for our type of business and sometimes it helps to have more than one of us in the team with a specific set of skills. For example, I’ve been trained to use a chainsaw for some time, but I recently decided to send a member of my team on the course too.  If more of my staff are trained, then it offers me more flexibility when dealing with my clients and, in turn, it opens up more jobs that we can cover.”

Village Garden Services

Safety first

Village Garden Services is a small business with five members of staff, but every year Mark tries to ensure that they have the chance to brush up their existing skills or try something new.  He said:  “It depends on their level of experience and obviously it needs to have some relevance to the business -  particularly if it’s going to make them safer.

“Now that there are more of us trained up properly on chainsaw operation, we are covered from an insurance point of view and we can crack on with new jobs.  For example, when we had extreme weather conditions and high winds this year, there were a lot of trees that had been blown down or uprooted.  We received a lot of requests for chainsaw work and we were able to react quickly.  It means that I don’t have to say ‘no’ or sub-contract the work out, so that’s a big advantage.”

Community credit

Mark is also very keen to put something back and his team at Village Garden Services regularly get involved with volunteering their services for free.  Mark said: “We’ve been in the news for the free gritting we did for Keech Hospice Care when the weather was particularly bad.  This ensured that patients, staff and visitors could get in and out of the Hospice safely and they could continue the crucial work they do all year round. We also regularly receive praise and recommendations in the local parish magazine.” 

He added, “Training is important to us my company, to ensure my staff are up-to-date with the latest safe practises.  Shuttleworth College have a broad range of land-based courses that are relevant to my business and our account manager is always helpful.” 

To find out more about how Shuttleworth College can help your organisation face future challenges, please telephone: 01234 291747 or email: