Horticulture skills surveys

To help characterise the current labour and skills situation in horticulture, AHDB funded two skills surveys – one focused on ornamental horticulture and the other edible horticulture.

Ascertaining the skills needed in commercial horticultural production

Why did we carry out these surveys?

The ornamental and edible horticulture sectors cover a diverse range of production systems and manual labour inputs, the majority of which require specialised skill sets that are a challenge to attain. In recognition of the shortages in labour and the skills gaps that exist in the sector, AHDB, with support from other industry stakeholders, funded these surveys to gather evidence on the industry’s skills and labour force requirements.

What will the results be used for?

The goal of these surveys was to provide an evidence-based summary of the current state of labour in the sector and to help highlight a route to achieving the sector’s full labour potential and workforce sustainability. Stakeholders and industry can use the survey data, to: 

  • Support the case for lobbying government and requests for funding
  • Help inform on migratory advisory committee consultations
  • Break down barriers with providers to enable available training to be led by business need

We hope this project will help with the attainment of a sufficient labour force post-EU exit, and a skilled career pathway into the industry. 

Ornamental horticulture skills survey

Read the results of the ornamentals skills survey and find out about the training and resource gaps affecting the sector. As well as plant production, this survey also investigated the wider ornamentals sector, including landscaping, arboriculture, public gardens and garden retail.

Ornamental horticulture skills survey reports

Edible horticulture skills survey

Find out the results of the edible horticulture skills survey, which analysed responses from over 550 businesses from commercial field vegetable, protected edible, mushroom, soft fruit, tree fruit production and packhouse businesses.

Edible horticulture skills survey reports

Useful links

Visit our SmartHort pages for more information on emerging technologies and labour management practices for horticulture

Check out AHDB’s skills pages for resources to help you develop an effective workforce