Apprenticeships blazing a trail

Lee Pricein Schools & Colleges

Myerscough Reece Tomalin 2
Delivering high quality Apprenticeships that meet both employer and individual learner needs is something that we are highly passionate about at Myerscough College.

We are regarded as one of the top providers of Apprenticeships and workplace learning in the Land based sector. Apprenticeships continue to be the cornerstone of skills development for young people and reforms of apprenticeships are now gathering momentum towards the introduction of apprenticeship standards and the upcoming Apprenticeships levy.

Much has been said over the past year around Trailblazer Apprenticeships and the introduction of new standards. We continue to be at the forefront of scheme development working closely with employers and industry to ensure all our schemes are to the highest possible standards and relevant to the job roles they exist within.

We are proud to announce that our first New Apprenticeship Standard ready for delivery is Golf Greenkeeping and we have already enrolled out first learner onto the programme. This marks a significant milestone for the College, as we consider ourselves to be at the forefront of Greenkeeper education delivering Apprenticeships across within workplaces across the country.

The ethos and background of Apprenticeship standard development puts the needs of the employer at the forefront of delivery and through the work of BIGGA, The GTC, Golf England and other partners the new Golf Greenkeeper standard will provide Apprentices with the skills, behaviours and competence to succeed and progress within the industry.

Our innovative approach to delivery using the latest teaching and learning techniques has allowed us to be able to adapt quickly and deliver against these new standards.

Myerscough Reece Tomalin
Greenkeeping at Trentham Golf Club

A 16-year-old trainee greenkeeper from Trentham has become the UK's first young person to be enrolled on the new Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard, and as part of this will be undertaking the new City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Golf Greenkeeping.

Reece Tomalin works at Trentham Golf Club, Stoke on Trent, and joined the team straight from school, having undertaken GCSEs in the summer of 2016.

Reece will now undertake a 2-year Apprenticeship under the direction of highly experienced course manager Ed Stant.

The club has close links with Myerscough College, with many of their team undertaking Level 2 and Level 3 programmes through the college, along with a range of short industry courses.

Ed shared his thoughts on the new Golf Greenkeeping Standard and also on recruiting and training Apprentices, saying: "Apprenticeships give us the opportunity to bring local young people into our industry and, as a business, we are proud to be able to facilitate this. Reece approached us in his final year and showed passion and enthusiasm for the role."

"He joins us at an exciting time as we are proud to be the first club to be able to offer the Apprenticeship against the new Golf Greenkeeper Standard which has been in development for some time. It's great to work with Myerscough to deliver a truly gold standard of Apprenticeship and to give Reece a fantastic start to his Greenkeeping career."

Myerscough Induction time for Reece with tutor Adam
"Reece will receive regular visits in the workplace from his Myerscough College tutor and also have access to latest interactive learning technologies. For us, the workplace delivery is key as it means we are able to plan and deliver the Apprenticeship with little disruption to our business."

To celebrate this landmark enrolment, representatives from Myerscough were joined at Trentham by Roger Butler, Midlands Regional Administrator for BIGGA, the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association. Roger asked Reece why he chose Greenkeeping and what his plans were for the future.

Reece said: "I first approached Trentham Golf Club about an Apprenticeship in January of this year. At the time I was too young and still at school. Then in March, when I saw a role advertised, I spoke to them again and was delighted to be able to work over the summer straight after my exams, and I am really proud to now start my Apprenticeship in Greenkeeping."

"I have already learnt loads, working with the team and just getting used to the world of work. It's great to think that I am the first Apprentice on the new programme and I am really looking forward to developing in my role."

"School wasn't the best time for me and the Apprenticeship means I can work outdoors, get a proper trade and qualification and also get paid at the same time. For me it's a win - win all round."

Roger was impressed by Reece's enthusiasm for the role and Reece has already submitted his BIGGA membership application. Roger said: "It's clear that Reece has made an informed choice about embarking on a career in Greenkeeping. It's great to see young people who are passionate about our industry and I look forward to seeing Reece develop. Hopefully, he can inspire other young people to consider a role in our fantastic industry."

The enrolment is also a first for City & Guilds as the golf greenkeeping qualification has been updated to reflect the changes and increased technical input into the Apprenticeship standard.

Myerscough Ed Stant, Reece Tomalin and Richard Minton
Jamie Holland, End Point Assessment Manager at City & Guilds said: "This marks a significant milestone in Apprenticeships and is the first of hopefully many registrations under the new Golf Greenkeeper Standard. We wish Reece the very best in his new career and look forward to tracking his progress in the industry."

Fiona Lyttle, Manager at the Greenkeepers Training Committee (GTC), shared her thoughts on the Apprenticeship, saying: "The Greenkeeping industry has been at the forefront of dramatic changes to how apprenticeships in England are administered, thanks to the hard work of the Greenkeepers Training Committee.

"As one of the Government's 'Trailblazers', the GTC has worked closely with City & Guilds and partners England Golf and BIGGA and is proud to announce the launch of the new Certificate in Golf Greenkeeping in England.

"The apprenticeship reforms are intended to engage with the employer more, to get them involved with education and ensure staff are trained to the highest possible standards. And the new certificate reflects these rising standards and builds upon the recently updated GTC-accredited training manual for greenkeepers."

"So much hard work has been involved in creating this new Apprenticeship standard, and we are delighted to see Reece enrolled as the first Apprentice on the new scheme with Myerscough College, who have played a key part in developing this standard."

Myerscough College is keen to speak to other employers and Apprentices who wish to discuss delivery against this new standard.

Apprenticeship recruitment made easy

Myerscough College have a dedicated team to help employers with their Apprenticeship recruitment needs. We work on a daily basis to help with Apprenticeship recruitment and pride ourselves in working to source high quality candidates that meet the needs of your business.

Myerscough emblem
Our team can:
  • Help with job descriptions
  • Advise on the specifics around employing Apprentices
  • Advise on which framework or standard to choose and what level
  • Advertise your Apprenticeships nationally
  • Signpost for advice on contracts and HR policies

Whilst we never claim to have all the answers, we will support you every step of the way with your Apprenticeship recruitment needs. This is a free service no matter what size your business is.

Recently, we worked with Whitgift School who have now recruited two Apprentices using our services. Daniel Ratling, Head of Grounds at Whitgift School said; "We were looking to recruit two Apprentices to join our grounds department, maintaining the sports surfaces at Whitgift."

"We approached Myerscough College because they are a leading institution for delivering Sportsturf Apprenticeships in the UK. The process was very straightforward and we were supported well throughout by the team at Myerscough. Ultimately, we have ended up with two excellent new recruits that we are very excited about working with."

For more information on the FREE service please get in touch.

American adventure for Sportsturf student

A Myerscough College student is spending three months in America on an internship as he furthers his career in the Sportsturf industry. Ryan Powell, has been with Everton FC ever since he left school, and is currently studying a foundation degree after advancing through from a Level 2 and Level 3 Apprenticeship in Horticulture/Sportsturf, all with Myerscough College.

As well as his studies and work as a groundsman at Everton, Ryan is a member of the 2015 IOG Young Groundsman of the Year award.

Ryan's duties at the club revolve around the maintenance and development of the playing surfaces and the surrounding wildlife conservation areas at the club's Finch Farm training ground. As he furthers his career, he'll spend the next few months in the USA at Ohio State University with Columbus Crew S.C.

Myerscough ryan powell in ohio 2
Ryan said: ''Armed with nine years of industry experience, and an increasing passion and ambition for my Groundsmanship career, I aim to continue to develop and improve my professional and personal skills. I am excited at what my time in Ohio will bring - from knowledge enhancement in discovering new species of grass to understanding US working practice, and the creation of international working relationships.''

''It's been amazing to visit the 104,944 seat OSU football stadium. For my first real day in sunny Columbus, I also experienced the blistering summer heat I had heard so much about. My first impression is the sheer vastness of the university campus (or mini city as it should be known), covering a huge 1,774 acres with 64,000 students.

The place has its own bright and vibrant feel all to itself, and with such a great atmosphere you can see why Ohio State is one of the top universities in US for aspiring students.''

Since touching down in the States, Ryan has visited the Ohio Turfgrass Research Foundation and also made contact with the ground team at the Columbus Crew's stadium, where he'll be spending much of his time during the internship.

Speaking of his career so far, Ryan said: "Everton and my Myerscough College tutors have supported me every step of the way, investing in me through training and education to allow me to develop my skills and experience. To think I am now starting in Higher Education is something I never thought I would achieve and I am looking forward to the day I graduate. Afterwards, I'm looking to further my knowledge by enrolling on a Sportsturf BA hons degree course. I have found my current degree course both enjoyable and fascinating, understanding the science behind grounds care methods and applying this newly learnt knowledge into my everyday workings."

"Apprenticeships are a great way to start a career and I would recommend them to all young people considering careers in Groundsmanship.''

Apprenticeships funding - the future

The transformation of Apprenticeships nationally continues to grow momentum, with a renewed government agenda to enhance the quality of provision and provide standards that fully meet the needs of industry.

New standards will be clearly aligned to occupational job roles, with the independent end assessment of the skills, knowledge and behaviours ensuring Apprentices attain the required industry standard and possess the job ready skills and competences required by sector employers.

Myerscough Success
At Myerscough College, we have always worked closely with employers and industry to deliver cutting edge provision to the latest industry standards. Consultation with employers, through our regular training advisory board meetings, has meant provision is always evolving and adapting to the fast changing needs of industry. We welcome the Trailblazer approach and will remain actively involved in the development of Standards across all our Apprenticeship provision.

As you have read, Golf Greenkeeping at Level 2 is the first standard ready for delivery. Please keep an eye on our website as delivery models, costs and the structure of provision is announced. Whilst the cost of some programmes can seem daunting, there are incentives available to support employers in the recruitment and training of Apprentices.

Over the next few months, more information will be available on how Apprenticeships are funded, through the new Digital Apprenticeship Service, which will give employers more ownership of the funding available, advice on employer contribution levels and signpost to the most appropriate provision available.

A wealth of information is available online and we will advise further once final announcements are made.

For more information on any of the programmes and provision at Myerscough College, please contact the Employer Services team on 01995 642255 or email