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Last modified: 20 May 2021 9:29am

College students doing work experience at Southern Woods There was a day out in the garden with a difference for a group of 12 Selwyn high school students last week.

The students from Ellesmere College, Rolleston College and Lincoln High School spent a half day working at Southern Woods nursery organised by the Council through the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs.

The programme sees the Council working with district high schools and businesses to organise work experience sessions.

The students were walked through the life cycle of a plant at the nursery from planting and propagation, to potting and presentation for sale.

Production Manager Devin Westley said the students had been enthusiastic and fun to work with.

“They’ve all asked lots of questions and have been really interested to see where the plants come from. They loved having a go on the potting machine and a few of them were really fast with it, so we got a few trays out of them too.”

Ellesmere College students Jackson Laffey and Jack Saunders, both 16, said it had been a fun and worthwhile day out.

“It’s good to get out of the classroom, to see something different and see how much work goes into keeping up the plants,” Jackson said.

Mayor Sam Broughton says the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs is a nationwide programme to help develop leadership and help young people into work or training.

“We want to make sure there’s a pathway for all young people to enter the workforce in the district. Days like today are an opportunity to work with businesses and training centres and match young people to work or training that suits them.”

Southern Woods owner Susy Mannell said the collaboration was part of the business’ values and it had enjoyed the students' visit.

“It’s good to have young people in and to give them some hands on experience. And hopefully some of them might come into the business.”