Over 70 students from the technical courses of the MBO Westpoort College from Amsterdam visited two horticulture companies and a technical supplier to the horticulture sector on Thursday, August 31, 2023. HilverdaFlorist from de Kwakel, Bunnik Bromelia from Kudelstraat, and Bosman van Zaal from Aalsmeer opened their doors. Greenport Aalsmeer notes that the visits are part of the "CollegeTour" project with the aim of getting more technical talent interested in the greenhouse horticulture sector.
Students at Bunnik Bromelia
First time in a greenhouse, as many as 32% were positive about career prospects
"This is my first time in a greenhouse, I didn't know there was so much technology involved in growing vegetables, flowers, and plants." That is one of the reactions of first-year Mechatronics, Machining & Construction students to the program. The company visits in the morning gave students a glimpse into the world of horticulture through tours, presentations, and small assignments. On leaving school, 4% said they might consider a career in horticulture. At the end of the day, 32% of students said they were positive about an internship or job in horticulture.
Students in the greenhouse at Hilverda Florist
Alderman Aalsmeer Bart Kabout present
Alderman of Education Bart Kabout of the municipality of Aalsmeer met the students during their visit to Bunnik Plants. "Unknown makes unloved," says Bart. "Showing students the possibilities of working in the horticultural sector is important to us as the Aalsmeer municipality. With visits like this, you let young people experience that horticulture offers beautiful innovations in technology and sustainability. And that a career in horticulture can be especially dynamic and challenging".
Contributing to global happiness
Over the course of this school year, the students will have several more classroom presentations, work on an assignment, and visit the international horticulture trade fair GreenTech in RAI Amsterdam in June 2024. There, they will participate in Horti Talent Day.
Students in Bosman Van Zaal's factory
"Talent is needed in technology, robotization, circular economy, marketing, HR, business management, environment, and food genetics," explains Jacco Vooijs, president of the Aalsmeer, Noord-Holland Noord and Westland regions at Horticulture Netherlands. "We see a trend that young people want to contribute to social issues, such as health, wellbeing- and happiness for their fellow man 'when they grow up.' Our sector provides richly for this, as we make an amazing contribution to the wellbeing of people and society with our products every day. In our sector, you can really make a contribution in the coming decades. We will show this to a total of some 400 students from various fields of study through CollegeTour."
Want to participate too?
CollegeTour takes place in the regions Westland, Oostland, Noord-Holland Noord, and Aalsmeer. For this initiative, Horticulture Netherlands, Greenport Aalsmeer, AVAG, and VNO-NCW West have joined forces. Companies and educational institutions that would also like to participate can inquire about the possibilities without obligation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Greenport Aalsmeer, Glastuinbouw Nederland, AVAG en VNO NCW West