If you look at the vacancy page of any horticultural technology company, you will easily come across dozens of vacancies. These mostly fast-growing companies deal with great difficulties to find enough good people. The result is that many new talents from outside the horticultural sector are now entering it. IntoTuinbouw was set up to give them a crash course in horticulture. This 'onboarding course for horticulture' (re)started last week in The Netherlands.
Participants of IntoTuinbouw this week
This week, six participants will visit a total of 24 horticultural companies. Pim van Adrichem, of HortiTech, which is organizing the crash course together with the World Horti Center, is looking forward to it. "This week we will show the participants the versatility of horticulture. They come from many backgrounds. There are growers, breeders and technology companies, and this is not just about looking. We are also letting them roll up their sleeves wherever possible, and there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions. In this setting, these can also be 'dumb' questions, although of course there is no such thing as 'dumb'."
By the end of the week, participants will have managed to network and gotten to know many people. "Having a network when you start out as a newcomer is important. Participants will soon know each other well, but also many of their future colleagues in horticulture. And yes, that networking includes a beer on Friday. That is perhaps even the most important; casual and informal."
The familiar hygiene suits were also worn during the visit to Axia Vegetable Seeds.
The goal is to hold the crash course every month. After all, newcomers keep pouring into horticulture. "The course is of course coronaproof. Each edition, we also aim to invite all previous participants to the closing drinks. In this way, we hope to soon be able to organize an increasingly larger, more convivial get-together in the World Horti Center, the clubhouse of horticulture."
Maureen Sondag, of the Dutch embassy in Washington DC, also received a personalized tour in late 2020
At present, IntoTuinbouw is still primarily a Westland/South Holland affair, but Pim can imagine that in the future the concept could also be rolled out more widely. "It's actually crazy that something like that didn't exist yet. Newcomers are given a tour of their own company, but don't get to know the whole sector that quickly. In this way, they can. And who knows, in time we might even be able to turn this into some regional days, with a few company visits each day in the Venlo region, for example, or at Agriport A7 or Seed Valley."
In any case, HortiTech is still looking for companies for IntoTuinbouw to visit in upcoming editions. "They can sign up with us if they wish to receive a group of IntoTuinbouwers."