Name: Dan Clegg

Age: 30

Company they work for : Incommunities

Apprenticeship provider: Shipley College 

My name is Daniel Clegg and I work for Incommunities in Bradford, a social landlord that provides a wide range of services throughout the Bradford District and further afield. I am a Team Leader for our Environmental Services and my role is wide ranging and varied. I am responsible for arranging the removal of the fly tipped items on Incommunities land alongside carrying out safety inspections of play areas, weed spraying, hedge cutting, tree planting and grass cutting.

What is your apprenticeship in and why did you choose this sector?

I chose the Level 3 Horticulture course as in my role as Environmental Team Leader. I have varied tasks which mean I can be using powertools (hedge cutters, chain saws strimmers etc), chemicals (moss killers, weedkillers) and hand tools (secateurs, pruning saws) and all these bring  differing aspects in regards to Health and Safety, qualifications and skills sets. I wanted to learn new skills and update my skills. It means I have to work to the standard expected of me from the Health and Safety Executive, my employer and also to ensure our customers are receiving quality, efficient and time effective service.

What does your average working week look like? 

My week starts by assessing any Health and Safety issues which may have arisen and dealing with these in a timely manner. Next it is onto tool checks and ensuring my teams have the correct equipment, PPE and tools that are operationally safe. The work is given out and handed to teams and these teams attend gardens throughout the district and carry out general horticulture maintenance such as hedge cutting, grass cutting and weed spraying. My role also means I look at issues which may be affecting our communities and so I liaise with our Neighbourhood teams and other partners such as the Police and Bradford Council to plan and create clean up days, days of action and projects. These tasks also mean I am able to work  onsite and plan thus gaining knowledge of the areas in which I cover and seeing the positive outcomes and feedback from the local residents and customers.

What is the most rewarding thing about your apprenticeship? 

Being able to see that the hard work put into the theory of issues such as pests and disease management really pays off and assists with planning and maintaining grasses, hedges and trees. I also think by working alongside experienced tutors and other students from differing organisations a great deal can be learnt and the ideas brought back and integrated into my role.

If one of your friends was thinking about doing an apprenticeship what advice would you give them?

I would definitely say it is worth doing, the knowledge alongside the practical elements mean that the course is very interesting and allows for all the theory learnt to be put into good practice. The course gives you an underpinning knowledge of technical and practical issues and ways in which to deal with these issues. My advice would also be to ensure you are fully committed, the course has theory sections which require some background reading of articles and research into other learning material which can be quite extensive.

What are your plans for your future career?

I have recently been appointed as the Assistant Estate Services Manager and I hope to learn and gain skills in managing large teams and also put my knowledge from my Horticulture Course into practice. I hope to keep gaining skills and knowledge in order to keep up the high standards set by Incommunities for our customers.