Writtle College are now enrolling for the second intake on their 15 week Sports Turf Mechanics course for September 2006, after its successful launch in March 2006 following consultation with the industry.
The course, which is suitable for individuals or employers in the sports turf industry who are looking for training opportunities for employees, starts with the establishment of a machinery maintenance regime with a workshop on the first day followed by theory, operation and maintenance of machine parts covering the next 14 weeks. The final week involves a practical and written exam. After discussions with the NPTC it has been agreed that the course will now be NPTC certified, which means that upon successful completion of the course, participants not only receive a college certificate but also gain a NPTC qualification.
Bob Barnes, Proprietor of Cambridge Lakes Golf Course, took the course in March together with his Assistant Greenkeeper. Bob said: "I wanted to learn more about the maintenance of the machines we use as I felt it would be more beneficial to my business, not only so I could maintain the machines myself but also to increase my understanding of how they work and therefore run them more efficiently and extend the life of the machinery. The teaching standard in the Mechanisation Department at Writtle College is outstanding, and now I have completed the course I am keen to encourage other members of my staff to attend in September."
Discussions at BTME with the GTC and IOG were very positive with each institution showing interest in the course. These discussions lead to the potential of the course being awarded joint certification, as well as allowing other colleges around the country to adopt this course in a collaborative approach to training. Feedback taken from participants who completed the course in June was very reassuring with comments such as how the course had met their needs, how it was informative and enjoyable, how effective it was to hear contributions from other participants, and how the course includes an excellent mix of theory and practical work.
Writtle College, which in 2005 was awarded Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) in Horticultural Technologies, provide full and part-time vocational training, University of Essex Foundation and Honours degrees and Postgraduate programmes, and a number of short courses and workshops in horticulture, including a variety of machinery and vehicle handling courses.
CoVE status is awarded by the Learning Skills Council to enhance high quality vocational courses to serve the needs of the regional industries. The award reflects the College's excellent standards of its existing training programmes, and funding has been received to develop new training programmes to meet the needs of employers and professional organisations.
Intake dates for the Sports Turf Mechanics Course are:
· 14 September - 21 December 2006 (9am to 5pm)
· 11 January - 26 April 2007 (9am to 5pm) excluding 15 February 2007
For details of how to apply, please contact:
The Training Group
Tel: 01245 424102
Chelmsford Essex CM1 3RR