IOG Apprenticeship in Groundsmanship

IOG breaks new ground with the launch of groundsmanship apprenticeships

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG), the leading membership organization for everyone involved in the management of sports pitches, landscape and amenity facilities in the UK, has announced the IOG Apprenticeship in Groundsmanship – a work-based program available to aspiring groundsmen and women.

Providing a choice of options – Apprenticeship Level 2, Advanced Apprenticeship Level 3 and Higher Apprenticeship Level 4 – and routes (ie work-based diploma, foundation learning, GCSE/A Level and employment with training), the programme is targeted at anyone aged from 16 years. The IOG Apprenticeship will take between one and three years, depending on the Level chosen.

Explaining that the new Apprenticeship is the latest in a comprehensive range of affordable education services delivering high quality and accredited qualifications at every level of groundscare Ian Lacy, the IOG’s Head of Professional Services, says the new scheme follows the successful recent launch of the IOG Young Apprenticeship Scheme as a curriculum option for students aged 14 at Harefield Academy, St Albans.

“The IOG Apprenticeship, a work-based (on- and off-job) programme designed around the needs of an employer, leads to nationally recognised qualifications such as diplomas in Groundsmanship and greenkeeping accredited by City & Guilds land-based services,” he says. “The majority of the time is spent in the workplace and supported by a mentor (usually the head groundsman or a fellow member of staff) and the remaining time is delivered by the learning provider, the IOG.

“To support the new scheme, the IOG is offering a ‘one-stop shop’ apprenticeship service which includes screening literacy and numeracy, assessment of occupational skills, advice on learning styles and psychometric testing, plus help with the induction and sign-up and the assessor visit, and ongoing monitoring of progress.

“Apprenticeships are the Government’s primary route to skills and employability, and such a formal springboard for a career in groundscare has been sorely missing – until now.”

This scheme is something that we all in the industry, and especially those that wish to enter this field, have been waiting for for a long time. While it is possible to study groundsmanship at a number of agricultural colleges this is a much better way, as are apprenticeships in general and we need many more, in the parks and gardens field as well as in others.

© 2011