The MDS collaboration that Tristram Plants began in 2019 is still going strong with seven placements currently underway, one just completed, another due to start in March 2022 and another in the recruitment phase.
These Management Development Services placements are between 6 and 24 months long and enable trainees to get involved in and under the skin of, targeted projects and areas of work in their placement company. They bring direct value to us as their employer and continue their development into capable managers.
James Rowe – Fleurie Nursery
James completed his one-year secondment at Fleurie in October 2021. His secondment role was as Site Supervisor at Omnia Nursery. He ran the site throughout the year navigating the busy seasonal periods, working closely with cultural, potting and despatch teams. In addition, towards the latter stages of his secondment he ran the Lake Lane site for periods across the summer months.
Of his time at Fleurie Nursery, James said, “The experience at Fleurie was a very good one. It was a secondment that stretched me and forced me to learn a variety of new skills in an industry that was entirely new to me. Tristram Plants gave me lots of responsibility in the role I was given, it was what I would call a ‘proper job’. The people I worked with throughout the organization always had time for you and that I was very grateful for. The year flew by, which indicates the nature of this role. I was constantly busy and worked hard but I got so much out of this role because of this. My newly found knowledge of bedding plants is perhaps somewhat bizarre to think about, but the management techniques and tools I picked up through carrying out this role are invaluable and go hand in hand with the nature of the MDS course. I would say this Tristram Plants role as a Site Supervisor with Fleurie Nursery is one which you will get so much out of. You gain real life operations and people management experience and feel part of their team from start to finish.”
Imogen Stoodley – Walberton Nursery
Imogen started her 6-month placement at Walberton Nursery in October 2021. The remit for her placement is “Systems, Training, and Business Improvement Project”, which includes an in-depth review and development of Walberton’s equivalent to Standard Operating Procedures; coordinating and facilitating company-wide business improvement projects to deliver tangible improvements; and helping develop, coordinate and deliver training. Of her time so far, Imogen says, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Walberton. I have been given a wide variety of tasks across all departments, exposing me to many different managerial styles – this has allowed me to practice my own! I am encouraged to use my initiative and have felt consistently valued by staff at all levels. I will be very sad to leave Walberton! It has been a fantastic learning and development opportunity.”
In total, Tristram Plants have taken 15 placements covering roles as diverse as Stock Controller, Site Supervisor, Despatch Team Leader, Systems Process and Improvement Coordinator, Project Manager, and more, and we very much hope that this successful partnership continues.
Thomas Morley – Binsted Nursery
Thomas is employed by Binsted Nursery on a two-year degree apprenticeship offered by MDS. His role is as Site Supervisor at Binsted Lane and his apprenticeship ends in July 2023. The role is focused primarily on propagation but also involves supervising various team members in the day-to-day running of the site. This can involve jobs such as the collection of cuttings and the sowing of seed, and preparation of the weekly transfer of young plants to Binsted’s main production site at Lake Lane ready for potting. Alongside this Thomas gets involved with the more practical aspects of the job that involve the general care of plants such as crop nutrition and crop protection, as well as the maintenance of main production crops and propagating stock plants.
Not yet one year into his placement, Thomas had this to say of his time so far, “It has been a good experience so far. The various workshops and mentor sessions provide a good level of guidance and support to help you on your way to becoming successful in future management. The course is well structured to operate alongside the practical aspects of the working environment and the workshops are broken down into manageable chunks that allow you time to reflect on what has been learned in the sessions. The team at Binsted Nursery and the wider Tristram Plants group have been incredibly supportive during my time so far with MDS and I look forward to continuing that.”