As National Apprenticeship Week 2023 gets underway, we spoke to Luke Stynes, apprentice Sports Turf Operative at Worcestershire County Cricket Club. Luke studies at Pershore College (which is part of college group WCG) as part of his apprenticeship.
Luke commented: "There are a few reasons why I chose to do the
Sports Turf apprenticeship. The main reason being I really enjoy
being outside and working outside. I've studied at university
alongside working at my local cricket club where I fell in love
with it, so I decided to become an apprentice as I much preferred
this line of work.
"I wanted a qualification in this line of work so I can progress in the industry as it could take me to some amazing places! Plus, I can prove to people that I know what is expected of me and get the right training I need to progress into a better all round groundsperson.
"I chose Pershore College because it's the closest one to me with everything I need. My tutor is Dave Coutts and he's been training me and pushing me to do well, as well as giving me key information about how to improve my knowledge going forward in the industry.
"I would definitely recommend this apprenticeship to those who want to work outside and try something new, and also to those who want a career in this line of work so they can also progress further into being a qualified grounds person."
Dave Coutts Sports Turf & Golf Greenkeeping Trainer/Assessor at Pershore College (part of WCG) added: "The sports turf and greenkeeping industry is an ever changing and challenging environment. At Pershore College we encourage all apprentices to hone their craft with us and reap the benefits with future career prospects.
"Learners must be prepared to put the work in to get the maximum experience and reward. What I personally like about the New Standard Apprenticeships is that they are bespoke to the workplace. Apprenticeships are a fantastic, cost-effective way to future-proof your workforce and it's great to see so many turf-based companies doing just that.
"Apprenticeships have really taken off over the last year. Here at Pershore College we have been inundated with applications for horticultural and turf-based courses, and long may it continue.
"Apprenticeships provide opportunities not only for school leavers but also people wishing to change careers, getting a foot in the door of a competitive industry and learn their trade in a professional environment.
"At Pershore College we provide opportunities for learners to attend college and interact with peers from other sports clubs and golf clubs, sharing their experiences, making it more than just an apprenticeship but also a journey into the next chapter of their working life.
"Hopefully most sports clubs and golf clubs will see the benefit of taking on apprentices to be part of the future of the turf industry, setting learners on the road to potentially developing into a head grounds person or golf course manager. It's always a proud moment when you hear that one of your apprentices has moved up the ladder or onto another important position."
To learn more about National Apprenticeship Week 2023 click here