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Expanding Rising Star programme for GCA

Published: 24 January 2014
The GCA's Rising Stars programme will be expanded further this year due to its successes in 2013, and plans will be unveiled at its annual conference next week.
Expanding Rising Star programme for GCA
The industry body's 2014 programme, which is sponsored by Westland Horticulture, will launch at the Blackpool conference that is taking place between January 26 and 29.

Iain Wylie, chief executive of the GCA, said: "Our innovative Rising Stars programme has had a tremendously successful year and looks set to be bigger and better in 2014. From discussions with Westland, we are aiming to involve a larger group to participate in the workshops throughout 2014.

"Our two 2013 winners will also do presentations at the event to provide an insight into all they have learnt, the benefits of entering for themselves personally and also for the garden centres where they work."

More than 30 garden centre staff have now been involved in the GCA driven initiative. But last year it was revamped adding value for the participants and their employers, and making it a beneficial experience for all.

Keith Nicholson, marketing director of Westland Horticulture, said: "The 2013 Rising Stars Programme was launched at the GCA Conference in January last year and 12 applicants were shortlisted to four for the full programme, these were all go-getting ambitious individuals - two were promoted within their businesses during the year. As the whole process was so successful, in 2014 we're hoping for a greater number of applicants.

"This will allow more delegates to benefit from the workshops and the conference. They all have the potential of a great future in garden retail as the industry's next generation of managers."

The 2013 winning candidates, who will be presented with their trophies at the conference, George Bishop, assistant manager, Squires Woking and Will Michieli, plant advisor, Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre in Somerset, will produce and present short presentations at the 2014 conference next week. They will explain what they did, how it helped them and how it improved their garden centre.

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