The Groundsman

October 2013

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Page 16 of 51

GET INTO GROUNDS 17 the Groundsman October 2013 about the L2 syllabus and had to start from scratch, but working through to Level 3, course tutor Andy Carmichael really helped me focus and now I'm keen to carry on learning." Opportunity knocks Will Graves, from Merchant Taylors School, felt he needed to achieve his QCF Level 3 Apprenticeship work-based Diploma in Horticulture (Groundsmanship), to help fill the gaps in his knowledge. A current member of the IOG's Young Board of Directors, Will is passionate about encouraging more young people into the industry, he says: "It's a qualification that many employers are looking for, so it gives young people in this industry a varied amount of options for their future." Kevin Nicholls, from Kings College, Wimbledon admits that he wasn't very academic at school and found the work daunting at first, but work-based, online learning has taught him that "if you put your mind to it you can achieve anything you want". "Where I previously only had a Plan A, by gaining my QCF Level 2 Diploma in Sports and Amenity Turf Maintenance, I've now got a Plan B, C and D regarding my career opportunities. It's helped me understand that you need to work that bit harder to achieve perfection as this profession is all about presentation." Kevin Nicholls (centre) says his Level 3 qualification has opened up his future options in groundsmanship Working at Huntingdon District Council's One Leisure, with a career that spans 13 years in groundsmanship, Rob Bradshaw says he gained pitch preparation and maintenance experience by sheer determination. He uses events such as SALTEX, to learn about products and techniques, and network with key people in the industry and has managed to gain work experience at Southampton FC, Arsenal FC, Peterborough United and Wembley Stadium. However, he says his turfcare knowledge has come on in leaps and bounds since being involved in his local Cricket Grounds Association and was encouraged to complete his QCF Level 2. "I've taught myself IT and presentation skills to help gain this qualification. You need to push your own boundaries to progress yourself," he says. Helping hand Studying, while holding down a full-time job, has been difficult for some, but having an online tutor that helps people to stick to course timetables towards practical assessments has been a big benefit. Chris Stevens, from the Hurlingham Club, admits that he found online learning hard at first. "I knew nothing IOG's commitment to review and improve Commenting on the IOG's continual commitment to review and improve its online qualifications, Chris Gray says: "The IOG is looking to increase the range of accredited qualifications it offers. We are continuing to review and improve the way we deliver our online qualifications, as well as the diploma in horticulture qualifications which are integral to our apprenticeship programme," he says. Help us to help you If you have an education or training need that does not appear to be met then please do let us know. The IOG is progressing well on the research for our enhanced learning programme and welcome everyone's contribution. Email or call 01908 552 982. Visit for more information and digital editions t Lee De Grammont (centre) has now encouraged his other team mates to embark on training courses

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