A Myerscough College arboriculture apprentice is aiming to inspire others to pursue their dream career.
Gabriella Jardine is only the Royal Horticultural Society’s second female arborist, working at RHS Bridgewater in Salford.
After leaving a career in academia to pursue a role working outdoors, she said she hopes her new role might inspire others to think about jobs that do not conform to stereotypes.
Gabriella has been tending to trees and felling to create space for different species to increase biodiversity and enable other trees to thrive.
Her change of direction comes amid a big increase in applications to train at the horticultural society.
Gabriella says said she had spent almost 10 years studying, with a masters in science and geology, followed by a PhD in ocean and earth science.
She told the PA news agency: “I guess I knew when I was wrapping up my PhD that I wanted to move into a career that had more time outside and on my feet.”
“I’m grateful for the opportunity. It’s obviously a very male-dominated field. Personally, I’ve never cared too much about stereotypes or anything like that.
“So I saw the opportunity come up, thought ‘I could do that’ and went for it.
“But I guess it is something that hopefully might inspire some other young girls out there to think about a career that’s less typical and a bit more active on your feet, because it is a lot of fun.
“If you’ve got a head for heights and you like being outside it is one to maybe think about.”
The RHS said there had been a 60% increase in apprenticeship applications in 2021 – the highest in decades. The number is expected to grow as people continue to reassess their career path following the pandemic.
A significant number of apprentice applicants last year were career changers, with 25 to 34-year-olds accounting for 39% of applicants and 17% from 35 to 44-year-olds.
A spokesperson for the RHS said: “We’re ecited that as of December 2021, more females than men had applied for 2022’s RHS apprenticeship intake.’’