Find me a job! - Drew Duffy
First to feature in our Find me a job campaign is Drew Duffy, who is fast running out of time to find a work placement before his college course is due to start. Please read this information and let us know if you can help. Thank you.
Position sought - Groundsman (apprentice)
Location - Lancashire/North West of England
Drew Duffy is a 16 year old with big ambitions. He's currently in his last year at high school and about to sit his GCSE exams where he is predicted to achieve five or more at grade C or above.
He has provisionally been accepted on to the BTEC First Diploma Sports Turf course at Myerscough College in Preston, but there's a snag. After writing numerous letters to potential employers in the north west of England accompanied by a glowing reference from Phil Collinson, Head Groundsman at Rochdale Football Club, Drew hasn't been able to secure the work placement that will enable him to start the college course later this year. Time is running out for Drew, and we hope that someone in the industry might be able to give this highly motivated young man the break he deserves.
For the past year and a half, Drew has volunteered as an assistant groundsman at Rochdale. A keen gardener, he initially responded to a plea from the club for people to help shovel snow from the pitch prior to a matchday. He spoke to the groundsman about his job, and began to help him at the ground on a regular basis, initially divoting on matchdays, then coming in to the ground to help prepare for games, and has been taught to mark-out, mow, brush and carry out other tasks by Phil. Rochdale's pitch is used for both football and rugby league matches.
We contacted Phil to find out a little more about Drew's work at the club.
"Drew has been working voluntarily with us for a year and a half and has demonstrated many skills which would make him a great acquisition for any company," he explained. "His work ethic is second to none and not once has he ever let us down or turned up late. He arrives before me in the morning and is always the last to leave."
"He quickly integrated with the groundstaff team and has become a very popular member within the football club. His polite and friendly demeanor has ensured he has made many friends here."
"Technically, he is very capable. When he first started with us, he had very little understanding of machinery, but he quickly grasped the skills required and is now very competent using a wide range of machinery."
"What's rare with Drew is his thirst for knowledge on all things sports turf related. He will ask questions when unsure and listen and learn when answered. During his time with us he's shown great interest and dedication to the job and has always worked with a smile on his face. I can not recommend him highly enough to a future employer. Drew doesn't disappoint those who put faith in him. I really hope someone in the turf industry will give him the opportunity he needs and deserves."
Drew also helps maintain the cricket pitch at Norden Cricket Club where he's been taught to roll, mow, brush and mark out a wicket and mows the outfield. He's also learning about different types of fertilizer.
Drew is now determined to pursue a career in groundsmanship but, unfortunately, Rochdale aren't in a position to offer him paid employment.
As part of a two-year scheme, he's seeking a position from June this year that will pay him a minimum of £95 per week and allow him to attend college to gain his BTEC First Diploma in Sports Turf.
After working unpaid for a year and a half, Drew is undoubtedly a motivated young man who has proved that he's prepared to put in a great deal of effort to get a foot on the career ladder.
Can anyone in the north west of England give him the opportunity to be a part of our industry? He has winter games pitch and cricket experience and a great attitude to life and work.
If you can, please contact Drew directly on 01706 645206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can email email@example.com and we'll put him in touch with you.
You can read about all the individuals featured in this campaign in a special 'Find me a job!' area of Pitchcare's jobs section.