For over a year the whole world has been struggling with Covid-19, with all its grim faces. But, it has brought change and chances too. Some interior landscaping organizations even report growth. After lockdown, their office clients plan to receive their personnel in renewed offices. Green, healthy offices to be exact, that feel like home.
This new development however, shines a light on a problem that was already there before Covid. How to find motivated and educated staff? All green sectors struggle with finding personnel. Furthermore, interior landscaping is a small sector so regular green education do not cater the trade with specific education, resulting in a general lack of courses for plant technicians. Many have to learn on the job. Anyone can figure out the result: the lack of educated service personnel is the major brake on growth!
The educational tool of NILA and EILO
NILA, the Nordic Interior Landscaping Association from Norway and Sweden has developed a very easy, user and even mobile friendly education tool that within 40 study hours teaches the basic skills of the interior landscaping business. The 19-module course is primarily aimed at introducing new employees into the world of interior landscaping, but of course can be taken by existing personnel as well.
Students will acquire knowledge of plants, plant health & pest control, the requirements in terms of water, substrate and light specifically for indoor circumstances, and green walls. Furthermore, attention is paid to communication with customers, ergonomics, work planning and the positive effects of plants on human wellbeing. Every module contains information on one of these subjects and will be concluded with a multiple choice test. After passing all tests the student will be rewarded with a certificate. The student can study at home, in his or her own time. There are no entry requirements.
NILA has taken 15 years to develop, rework, nurture and adapt this tool into the very easy to manage, online tool it is now. And so, interior landscaping businesses in Sweden and Norway can grow and present themselves to clients with a well-educated workforce. They can source new staff from sectors like the event industry or the catering industry, have them take the online course and after 14 days they will be ready to start working alongside a more experienced staff member. The certificate allows the student to work for all NILO members. This is a situation most interior planting businesses only can dream of.
In order to see whether this tool might be suitable to a broader audience, NILA and EILO translated the tool into English and demonstrated it to EILO members at our Paris excursion, just before Covid hit. Members from all over Europe showed great enthusiasm.
In April EILO organised three webinars to discuss whether this tool would be interesting for more member countries. Your can see the recordings here:
The English webinar:
The French webinar:
The German webinar:
English version will launch for all EILO members
Covid halted the introduction for a while, but in September EILO will open up the English version of this Interior Landscaping educational tool for all members and sponsors. They can register staff members they want to be educated. The new staff member will receive a login and can then take the course independently, supported by a tutor from EILO, taking away any additional burden from the registering company. The tutor will answer questions and nudge the student along. Only if student progress is exceptionally slow or hampered in any way there will be further contact with the company. After successfully completing the course, the student will receive an EILO certificate that will be recognized by all EILO members, all over Europe. The one-off investment per student will be € 500,- for the English version. Other languages will have other prices.
For students and new staff it will be a great motivator: they invest in an education that will provide them with work opportunities all over Europe! Employees with the same level of education could even train or temporarily trade places with a member company in another country to broaden their horizon and gain new knowledge to take home and inspire their work.
What about other languages?
It has already been decided that the tool will be translated in French. There is great motivation for a German translation. Each version will have its own installation and tutor organization, so that may influence the price per student. Like the English certificate, those for the French, German or any other EILO accredited version of the course will have European recognition among all member organizations.
EILO will keep members posted about any new developments. If you consider a translation for your country, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.