The Greenkeepers Training Committee (GTC) is being supported by a major Government funding body in a joint initiative intended to improve the quality of work-based training and assessment.
Following a meeting at the offices of the Learning & Skills Council (LSC) the GTC's Education Director, David Golding, has reported on a joint project which he feels will result in further improvement in the delivery of greenkeeping work-based training programmes.
Negotiations have been ongoing between LSC, Lantra representatives and the GTC to find a way of improving the NVQ and apprenticeship programmes.
"The GTC is still concerned about several aspects of the way some providers deliver the work-based training programmes, in particular the method of assessing candidates," said David.
"We are looking to agree a delivery criterion that has the full support of the LSC and Lantra."
As part of the evaluation process, current GTC Approved Training Providers were invited to take part in a pilot programme to explore delivery patterns that are truly responsive to employers' needs.
The trial - due to start in the spring - will involve GTC assessment, alongside the NVQ support infrastructure and will include an analysis of current greenkeeping NVQ performance statistics across the sector. Work-based assessors, supported by college staff, will carry out the work which will involve a selection of GTC approved colleges.
Ultimately the GTC is looking to establish a Centre of Excellence for the employers to register trainees at only the centres who agree to deliver greenkeeping programmes in accordance with the agreed criteria.
The LSC, in fully supporting the project, will have a major controlling factor in that it is they who allocate funding to Approved Centres to offer the Government programmes, in accordance with industry needs.
The GTC, having invested in Course Manager training to help the delivery of work-based training, is now making a final push to cement the golf course-training provider relationship, to ensure both the employer and the learner receive the best possible education and skills training.