Home Bowls How to Recruit a Sports Turf Apprentice Q&A

How to Recruit a Sports Turf Apprentice Q&A

by TurfCareBlog

How to Recruit a Sports Turf Apprentice Q&A, in this blog we unpack seven questions , such as costs, interview tips and pathways to employing apprentices. Questions where asked to Victoria Fiander of Lackham College who is a assessor in horticulture.

1- Why Should we Consider Employing Apprentices as an Industry

  • Understanding the business from the ground level can add to a company’s efficiency.
  • Apprentices are mentored and guided through the business as opposed to candidates applying for positions who come from other businesses and then must learn and understands the mechanics of the company and the operations.
  • New skills and knowledge being taught through the apprenticeship is brought back into the workplace and can be used to upskill the current workforce that may not have received any current training.
  • Diversity of a workforce leads to innovation. Who’s to say best practice is invented yet, we are constantly learning to investigate new techniques. The sharing of ideas and learning to maximize each other’s skills by sharing and working together.
  • Gives the team a sense of ownership developing new skills, sense of pride mentoring the next generation of grounds staff and helping an apprentice achieve and embark on their career.
  • When you join a training provider such as Lackham college – you become part of a community and can take advantage of the resources available. For example, last year we held CPD events for employees to improve their knowledge of Health and safety and key documents. Hosted a Trade show and careers fair.

2- What are the Typical Costs of Employing an Apprentice, who Pays for Training and who pays wages


The cost of the apprenticeships depends on your circumstances. I.e. The size of your business and the age of your learner.

UNDER 50 TOTAL STAFF: Student under 19 (at start) – Fully funded.

Student over 19 (at start) – 5% employers’ contribution

50 -100 Staff:     All students – 5% Employers Contribution

100 plus Staff (£3m Payroll) Paid from Levy

Students under 19 attract a £1000 grant (not to levy payers) paid in two instalments (month 4 and 13).

Maximum funding costs are: Level 2 £6000          

                                                         Level 3 £8000

Bolt on course costs as follows:  PA1 £255

                                                                PA6 £240

                                                                PA2 £350

Cost of wages are the full responsibility of the employer, take a look at them here – https://www.gov.uk/become-apprentice/pay-and-conditions


3- What Should we Look for when Interviewing Apprentices 

  • Enthusiasm for the industry.
  • Resilience
  • Adaptivity/flexibility
  • Team player
  • Sense of humour
  • Willingness to achieve a qualification

4- Pathways into Apprenticeships

  • Target sports clubs/teams not everyone is a professional athlete. Maintaining sports turf is a good way to be close to your sport.
  • Pushing the education minister to address the fact that playability of sports surfaces is not included in curriculum and should be. The impact of weather and environmental conditions on playing services. It’s basic health and safety. It would also help develop understanding and collaboration with clients and managing playing surfaces. Often Faculty staff, clubs, Organisations etc have limited understanding of what is needed to ensure playability, and this can lead to lack of respect, low moral and conflict in this industry.

5-Online or Day Release Options Pro and Cons

I think if you ask my students, they prefer day release as they socialise and make friendship groups and learn more from each other’s work placement.

We offer 2 options face to face or we are modelling is a combination

  • Good resources with a voice over. This way the apprentice can go back and play over and over again to embed information.
  • Industry trips that are rotated around the UK, where apprentices can meet and learn best industry practice. So, if any clubs would like to get involved, we would love to hear from you
  • Organized workshop days where apprentices can attend college and maximise their learning.


6- How to Sell the Employing of Apprentices to Line Managers

  • Be open to new ideas and training methods.
  • Collaborate with schools and colleges.
  • Work with your local training provider, tell them what you need to run your business, what skills are you looking for. This is now legislation.

Skills and Post-16 Education Act 2022

Everything you need to know about the Skills Act – The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk)

As an employer you now have a voice

Prioritising local needs and local people

  • We are placing a legal requirement on colleges and other providers to work with employers to develop skills plans, so that the training on offer meets the needs of local areas, and people no longer have to leave their hometowns to find great jobs.
  • Supporting flexible study options
  • We are also supporting the transformation of the current student loans system so from 2025 learners can access a flexible loan for higher-level education and training at university or college, which they can use at any point in their lives.
  • Boosting the quality of education and training on offer
  • We are introducing new powers to intervene when colleges are failing to deliver good outcomes for the communities they serve.
  • Broadening careers advice for pupils
  • We will ensure all pupils meet providers of technical education so that they understand the wide range of career routes and training available to them, such as apprenticeships, T Levels or traineeships, not just the traditional academic options.
  • Prioritise green skills
  • We plan to prioritise green skills to help the training on offer across the country meet the needs of the growing green economy and helps gets more people into jobs.

7- What is the Starting Point/Route to Employing an Apprentice

  • Reach out to your local training provider- look at their achievement rate. Talk to the assessor or the lecturer.  You will be inviting these people into your business so you need to make sure that they meet your standards and expectations. How do they respond? Do they communicate well? Ask to see a delivery plan? Ask what industry experience they have?
  • Talk to your industry, who has had successes.
  • Do research of successful job adverts- your training provider will publish your advert for you
  • Think how you can also market your advert- social media platforms/ local clubs/ communities/schools/ Not going to Uni website.

Useful Links






As a industry we are suffering from a recruitment crisis, we are a aging body of professionals the one thing we maybe able to do is consider employing the next generation. The future of the industry has it challenges, but the next time someone leaves or a vacancy comes up, if in a position to do so lets think apprentice.

Inspired about employing a apprentice or even want to become a apprentice, take a look at some previous encouraging blogs from apprentices- https://turfcareblog.com/?s=apprentice

Blog in partnership with Victoria Fiander of Lackham College.

Blog feature image curtesy of Carlie Lambert , where she is a apprentice at Worcester County Cricket Club.



Listen back to the audio recording here –https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1yNGaNVVaORJj

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