Horticulture Apprenticeships

Estates Apprentice

As part of the Estate Services team, you will provide a high quality gardening and general grounds maintenance service to the communal areas of Orbits developments. The postholder will based in and around a number of our developments located in the Coventry and Stratford-Upon-Avon area.


The postholder will be jointly responsible with their team/mentor for providing a high standard of gardening, ensuring areas are clear, tidy and safe. They will ensure that any issues of repairs or improvements are reported so that customers, visitors and Orbit properties are safe and secure.


Project work: As part of our Apprentice Programme, you will also have the opportunity to work as a cohort on a live business problem, scoping, researching, piloting and evaluating.

Through a combination of work shadowing, project work and mentoring, we will help the successful candidate develop the professional and technical skills for this role.



To include some or all of the following responsibilities / accountabilities dependent upon the location of work:

  • Provide a high quality cleaning and clearance service to communal areas, gardens, footpaths and other areas.
  • Cut grass, trim hedges, prune shrubs, and undertake other gardening and environmental maintenance tasks, using hand tools, specialist equipment and petrol driven machinery.
  • Attend dedicated sites for ‘off job’ training in order to learn new skills for the apprenticeship such as maintaining herbaceous borders and plant propagation.
  • Pressure wash hard standings, paved areas, paths, bin rooms and other common areas.
  • Respond promptly to requests for work and prioritise work schedules and complete tasks within defined timescales.
  • Carry out litter picking and remove bulky items such as furniture or domestic appliances and remove other items of tipped or discarded materials such as household or garden waste.
  • Ensure regular liaison and communication with Orbit staff and colleagues in other agencies, including liaison with specialist repairs staff as required.
  • Undertake site risk assessments and work in a safe and considerate manner, using safety equipment and signage with full regard to operational procedures, safety measures and identified risks.
  • Maintain equipment to a safe and serviceable standard and identify and report defects.
  • Maintain accurate and up to date work records using ICT.
  • Carry out general labouring duties as and when required. 
  • Maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations and good practice requirements throughout the company.
  • Actively follow all Orbit policies including Equal Opportunities policies.
  • Carry out any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job as requested by the Senior Operative or Estates Team Manager.
  • It is the responsibility of all staff to minimise Orbit’s’ environmental impact wherever possible. This will include recycling, switching off lights, computers, monitors and equipment when not in use. Helping to reduce paper waste by minimising printing/copying and reducing water usage, reporting faults and heating/cooling concerns promptly and minimising travel. 

Requirements and prospects

Desired skills


  • 5 GCSE at grades (*A-C/9-4) or equivalent including Mathematics and English.
  • Basic knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel.

Personal qualities

  • Team Player
  • Willing to learn
  • Reliable


Qualifications required


  • Good written and verbal communication skills.
  • Competent with technology such as smart phone/PDA.
  • Must have the capability to operate machinery and equipment such pedestrian lawn mower, hedge cutter and petrol blower.
  • Must have the ability and willingness to work internally and externally during all seasons.
  • Must be able to fulfil the physical requirements of a manual post.
  • Ability to travel to other sites.
  • Due to interaction with our customers, a DBS check will be required.


  • Hold a full UK driving licence.
  • An interest in horticulture and/or landscape gardening.

Future prospects

Progression to higher qualifications
Possible full time work

Things to consider

Orbit is an Equal Opportunities Employer and all staff are required to understand and adhere to Group and local policies and procedures relating to Equality and Diversity

Orbit requires all employees to read and adhere to Health and Safety policies and procedures

Orbit requires all employees to read and adhere to all Orbit policies and procedures and Standing Orders.


Training to be provided

The postholder will work towards gaining a Level 2 Horticulture/Landscape Operative apprenticeship.
Learning / assessments include :

  • Plant Identification and selection using common and botanical names.
  • Clearance of vegetation from a planted area using hand-held powered equipment and hand tools.
  • Soil cultivation by hand - single digging / double digging
  • Safe use of handheld powered brushcutter, strimmer, hedge trimmers, and leaf blowers (battery or petrol) 
  • Seed sowing 
  • Planting - tree planting (bare root and container grown) 
  • Planting - seasonal bedding / shrubs
  • Plant maintenance – mixed borders 
  • Pruning - seasonal pruning of roses and shrubs
  • Plant maintenance - herbaceous border maintenance
  • Indoor seed sowing - fine, small and medium seeds (in trays)
  • Plant propagation - softwood /semi-ripe / hardwood cuttings and division of herbaceous perennials.
  • Turf establishment – using turves and seed
  • Turf maintenance – mowing, edging, scarification, aerating

About the employer

Orbit Group

Orbit’s vision is simple - we lead in building thriving communities. We believe everyone is entitled to a good quality home that they can afford in a place that they are proud to live.

Orbit was established in 1967 by two people on a park bench, contemplating how to tackle homelessness. Five decades on, we are one of the largest builders of affordable homes, placing customers and communities at the heart of what we do.


10 Greenhill Street



CV37 6LG