Skills strategy white paper welcomed

Editorin Golf


By David Golding

The recent publication of the Department for Education and Skills White Paper, 'Realising Our Potential', has been warmly welcomed by the Greenkeepers Training Committee. The website can be viewed on

The GTC is particularly pleased that many of the representations it has made through LANTRA, the Skills Sector Council for the environmental and land-based sector, have been taken on board.

David Golding, GTC Education Director, commented: "The White Paper is based on addressing the national skills gap and ensuring that as a country we need to invest in skills to meet the challenge of the 21st century. The GTC is committed to raising standards across the board, so we wholeheartedly endorse this approach.

"It is pleasing to see that the Government agrees with our view that the needs of employers are central, and that training and qualifications must be designed so employees have the right skills to support the success of their organisations.

"We lobbied LANTRA to say that in our experience modern apprenticeships are currently insufficiently flexible because they have a cut off point at the age of 24, which disadvantaged many more mature people who would otherwise benefit from them and want to learn. I am glad to say this point has now been taken on board.

"We were also concerned that at the moment colleges who provide training to greenkeeping students are only funded providing a whole course is completed, rather than unit by unit, which again is insufficiently flexible in terms of modern employers. The White Paper addresses this by proposing that colleges are funded unit by unit.

"For this industry we are convinced that the changes proposed are all for the better and will help ensure that competent greenkeepers can get the qualifications they need, as well as allowing employers the funding support to allow this to happen."

For more details contact David Golding on 01347 838640 or e-mail
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