Decking apprentices course Myerscough

Decking apprentices course Myerscough

The principals for the correct construction of decking is an important element of the education for modern apprentices studying landscaping. Curated by the Association of Professional Landscapers for the specialist training facility for Landscaping at Myerscough college.

APL Apprenticeship decking course
APL Apprenticeship decking course

Importance of correct decking

The decking apprentices course at Myerscough starts with a general introduction of who is on the course. Each student is employed and is sponsored by a professional landscaping company.

The students soon find themselves embroiled in a rapid Q and A about what is a deck, what is important, how too’s and the like… soon answered by “no, sorry you can’t do that” … quite a few times and many for elements of decking construction.

The quick-fire rounds of questions is exciting and gets everyone involved… There’s no nodding off in this lecture.

The decking course content

From the basics like “what is wood” and “why does it behave in the way it does” to post, beam and joist positioning. Separate modules with current industry data with advice on best practice for setting out and building a deck. What types of posts would you use, dimension of timber materials and how they should be connected to avoid failure.

An important tip of the day was “You build a deck for today but you should consider how it will perform tomorrow”.

More than just decking

Each element of the study had a “info burst”; this contained essential information of “why”, “how”, and “what for” included. Most students were impressed with Accoya which has a legitimate 50-year warranty. Myths were also dispelled, “Pine decks are cheap and don’t last long” was answered and discussed in depth. Only poorly constructed decks are cheap and don’t last long, whereas most correctly constructed pine decks will last 25 years quite easily.

All elements of decking and its construction were met with discussion and interest. Karl Harrison said. “It was a pleasure to present the course to such an attentive bunch of lads, they all passed the exam too”.

Sponsoring Company                           Student

Foxcroft Landscapes                             Nathan Calderbank

Gadd Brothers                                        Adam Coulter and Morgan Keable

The Garden Landscapers                     Ben Ellis

Karl Harrison Landscapes Ltd            Leon Carver

Course tutor                                            Richard Heys

The decking exam was multiple choice and taken by all with gusto. 2 students blasted a respectable 95% pass and the rest came a close second and also smashed a distinction with 90%

The student takeaway

The apprentices at Myerscough college took away valuable decking information with them. Setting out a decking frame using EC5 tables with guidance notes promulgated by the Association of Professional Landscapers… “This is priceless information and will save my company a small fortune”. This was borne out of the section on setting out posts and beams where the students soon realised that compared to a normal small deck they would save one beam and one post. If this was permutated across a 100 sq. m decking terrace the saving would be in the thousands of pounds.

Deck training

There are a small number of educational establishments that train small groups of Decking Pro’s, Professional Landscapers, Designers and Apprentices. Myerscough are concerned with Apprenticeship’s for the Landscaping industry and you have to be a second year student to be invited to join the decking course.

If you are wanting a professional deck training course over 2 days then there is nothing better than the TASK training academy in Pershore. They are hosted several times a year, with specialist one day training courses for Garden designers and two day courses for installers.

Special thanks

Hats off to Richard Hays. Richard is the Course Tutor for Landscape and Horticulture at Myerscough college with the responsibility of the APL Boot camps.

Decking Course Feedback

Further to you presenting the  Decking course to the Association of Professional Landscapes/ Myerscough College landscape apprentices please see below my feedback on the training event.  The training provided by Karl Harrison on Decking as part of the Association of Professional Landscapes/ Myerscough College apprenticeship was presented with such passion and attention to detail that each of the apprentices were eager to learn and develop their skills. The course was well planned with plenty of opportunity for each of the apprentices to join in and table questions to Karl. One comment that was made to me as the horticultural and landscape tutor was that ‘this man is king when it comes to Decking and the installation’.
It was a surprise at the beginning of the training that the apprentices would be having an exam but any worries about the exam we’re quickly dealt with as the training covered all the aspects that were in the exam.
Thanks for a very informative and interesting training course. 
Kind regards Richard 


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