COLLEGES BACK GTC DRIVE FOR NEW LEARNING MATERIALS
Work by the Greenkeepers Training Committee to develop standard learning materials based on best practice and principles for golf course maintenance has been strongly backed by the industry's training providers.
Meeting at the GTC headquarters at Aldwark Manor Hotel and Country Club last week, over 50 delegates, representing most of the 28 accredited training providers in the UK and Ireland, were unanimous in supporting the move. They looked forward to receiving the new standard learning materials for the Sports Turf (Greenkeeping) National Occupational Standards - NVQs and SVQs Levels 2 and 3.
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, City and Guilds and the Learning and Skills Council have also voiced their support for the GTC initiative, which is intended to ensure employers have greater confidence that their greenkeeping staff are learning what they really need to know.
As part of the changes, the GTC is raising awareness of A1, the new assessor qualification, and will be offering its network of training provider centres the opportunity to achieve the new award. In turn, this will raise awareness of how course managers or head greenkeepers can act as assessors in the workplace.
One of the participants at the Aldwark Manor meeting, Keith Harrison, lecturer in turf agronomy at Merrist Wood College in Surrey, said: "Standardised training materials written by experts in the subject adds extra credibility to the very good range of courses being run up and down the country. Students and their employers will both know exactly what knowledge level is required for the NVQs Levels 2 and 3.
"Taking steps to ensure that students get better assessment of how well they are doing in the workplace from their own supervisor is also very welcome. How students put the knowledge they have gained into practice, and how well they fit into the working environment, can only really be tested on the ground by the people who know them best."
David Golding, GTC Education Director, added: "The skills which trainee greenkeepers learn are vital to the long-term success of the industry. We are constantly looking at ways of strengthening the partnership between the industry and its training providers, as we know that ultimately the success of individual businesses depends on the skills of their staff. We are delighted the training providers share our view that everyone will benefit from this new initiative.
"Employers are equally enthusiastic because the consistent standard of the new learning materials will ensure that they have the opportunity to become more involved in deciding how their own staff can benefit from the training on offer, and where and in what form it should be provided."
For more details contact David Golding on 01347 838640 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org