Skip to main content

Skills development programme

The Skills Development Program run by the Bermuda Government Department of Parks is a training and development opportunity for young people aged 19-25 years interested in horticulture and landscaping.

The Garden Club played an integral part in the support of The Skills Development Program from 2015 until 2022 when they were ready to spread their own wings. We wish them every success going forward with this very worthy program.


October 2020 End to End walk – helpers from the Skills Development Programme – thank you!


The 2019 Graduation and Prizegiving of the Skills Development Programme was held at Cathedral Hall on Wednesday August 14th, 2019 – quite the occasion, with many VIPs: The Governor Mr. John Rankin, Premier David Burt, Minister Burch, Minister Caines, Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons, Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier, BIU President Chris Furbert, Canon Lynas of the Cathedral and more. The hall was packed, with people standing – a very successful event for the Skills Development Programme!


Off to Bournemouth: l/r Roger Paris, Leric Lightbourne, Shalae Johnston, Troy Watson, Kacy Greene.

A message from our President Cindy Young on Tuesday, 16th July 2018:

Today was a good day for The Garden Club of Bermuda.  This morning we were part of a Press Conference with the Minister, the Hon. David Burch; highlighting the Skills Development Program’s four students who are leaving for the UK tomorrow night.  These four, Shalae Johnston, Troy Watson, Kacy Green and Leric Lightbourn will be travelling with Roger Paris to Bournemouth to spend three weeks learning new skills, helping with their Bournemouth in Bloom project and gaining invaluable knowledge to take them further forward – all thanks to this wonderful program that we are pleased to sponsor and administer.

Cindy gave a short talk about the program at the press conference and each of the four participants were able to speak to their appreciation, their aims and their skills.  We are very proud of them.  Roger Paris was also able to explain their decision as to which students would participate in the program and how they were chosen.

We are extremely thankful to the Rev. Christopher Colledge who came and spoke to GC about Bournemouth in Bloom this past winter and who would have thought that, as a result of his visit to the Island, these young people are able to go to Bournemouth and be exposed to another culture, learn some new techniques and absorb as much as they can from this amazing opportunity.

The Garden Club was also presented with a lovely painting – done by Shalae Johnston – as a big thank you for our participation to the Skills Development Program.   I attach a photo of her lovely painting – which is now hanging in my living room!


Pictured are graduates of the Government of Bermuda Parks Department Skills Development Program 2016 with: Honoured guest The Hon. N. Cole Simons, JP, MP, Minister of the Environment, Mrs. Anna Fulton President of The Garden Club of Bermuda, and Roger Parris of Parks Department who heads up this program (5th from left).
Well deserved Christmas gifts for the Garden Club sponsored Skills Development Program run by the Parks Department, December 2016.

This year’s graduation ceremony was described by The Honourable N. Cole Simons, Minister of the Environment:

“The training course includes ten modules which have verbal and hands-on assessments at the end of each module. Modules include plant pruning, pest management, plant identification, spraying, propagation, ground preparation and planting, hand tools and operation and maintenance of small equipment”.

Mr. Simons went on to say:

“Since its launch, the Skills Development Program has achieved much success and accolades. Last year sixteen of the participants landed part-time jobs and four received full time employment. This program delivers the skills, knowledge and experience that will assist in making the participants suitable for employment opportunities in both the public and private sector. This training program offers structure, skills training and support and one of the key advantages of this program is that it focuses on decision making and has enhanced their quality of life.”

All 10 participants this year graduated. The Garden Club of Bermuda extends its congratulations to all graduates.


The Skills Development Program participants who assisted at our Norwood Open House event in November 2015 were recognised at our December meeting - thank you, gentlemen!

Become a member

Becoming a member of the Garden Club will provide you with unique opportunities to learn new skills, have some fun and form new friendships with others who share your interests.

Join today