The Groundsman

February 2013

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GET INTO GROUNDS 29 the Groundsman February 2013 Once the warm up had finished - which seemed to involve the whole squad of players and was very intensive over some small areas of the pitch - the grounds staff were straight on the pitch with the divot forks to replace turf that had been loosened "a job that Scott carried out with the same degree of enthusiasm that he approaches all his tasks with," says Nick. The practice goals were removed when the players came out - this was now 12 hours after first arriving for work, but the job wasn't over yet by any means. Extended commitment The groundstaff had the chance to enjoy the first half of the game, but as the interval approached work mode set in again and the divot forks were back out to repair the pitch. It certainly warmed up the staff on a bitterly cold night, but the result was a fantastic one for Brentford as they came out on top winning 2-1 and set up a fourth round tie with Chelsea - a potentially lucrative fixture for the club but definitely more long hours for Scott and all the Brentford groundstaff. After the game, there was still more work to do on the pitch, and this was carried out in sub zero temperatures. The final divoting was completed to repair as much as possible before the frost covers could be put back on. It was 12.30am when the Scott and colleagues finally called it a day and could start thinking about the drive home - a super effort by a very dedicated group of people. l The IOG Apprenticeship Scheme The IOG has been involved in delivering its Apprenticeship Scheme for two years and currently looks after 20 young people at sports and school grounds across the UK. At various stages of completion, the course is delivered on a one-to-one basis in the workplace with the apprentice receiving monthly visits, over a 12month period. Scott Humphries is currently four months into his apprenticeship and on track to achieve his Level 2 work-based Diploma in Sportsturf (groundsmanship). What does the scheme entail? There are two basic elements to Scott's qualification. The knowledge evidence consists of a set of questions in the file which Scott works through, using the IOG learning materials CD. He then sets them out as a Word document and, after completing a task, will email them to his course tutor for marking. The tutor will send the documents back with feedback or help, if needed. The assessment criteria is, in fact, the practical element and Brentford's head groundsman, Nick Baldwin, is fully involved in this process - carrying out regular 'on the job' training which prepares Scott for a practical assessment of his competency with the course tutor at an agreed time on-site. This evidence is recorded and builds up Scott's learning portfolio. Scott says he enjoys this type of learning, as it's at his pace. However, the amount of preparation that Nick carries out should not be underestimated. It's a combined effort between the apprentice/assessor/employer, and everyone sits down together at the end of every assessment day to plan ahead, according to work schedules, with an assessment action plan. Career pathway The IOG Apprenticeship Scheme is proving to be very successful in grooming the next generation of turf professionals, giving young people a structured pathway and a nationally-recognised vocational qualification. Some apprentices can progress to Level 3 Supervisory stage, after the Craft Level 2. In fact, one current IOG Young Board of Director - Will Graves at Merchant Taylors' School - is an example of what can be achieved. Will started as an apprentice and I'm sure will be one to watch for future groundscare excellence. (see Will's column on page 6) Fact sheet – IOG Apprenticeships What does the IOG offer? The IOG can offer two levels of the apprenticeship programme: Intermediate (Level 2) duration between 12-15 months Advanced (Level 3) duration between 12-18 months Each level will include the 0065 diploma in Horticulture, a work-based qualification and the following pathways are available: • Groundsmanship • Greenkeeping • Parks, gardens and green spaces • Landscaping. The IOG can also provide a dedicated one-stop service, which includes: • Recruitment service, (free of charge) to help find the right candidate, this embraces • Creating a job advert (this will go on the IOG website as well as on the National Apprenticeship Services website) • Creating a job description • Help in assimilating application forms • Creating a shortlist of potential applicants • Help with interview, if required. The Apprenticeship framework consists of: • A work-based Diploma in Horticulture (with a choice of pathways to suit the employer) • Functional Skills in Communication; Application of Numbers. Delivery Process The IOG delivers on-site training on a five-week visit rotation. Funding: This can be accessed by the IOG as follows: • Aged 16-18 (signed up before the 19th birthday) fully funded by government. • Aged 19-24 (signed up before 25th birthday) 50% funded by government (50% as an employer contribution ) • Aged 25 plus - 20% funded by government (80% employer contribution). For more information, contact Diann Jones-Davies: T: 01908 552 982; E: djones-davies@iog.org Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions

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