Skills council embarks on training standard study

Lantra talks to sector to review National Occupation Standard

Production horticulturists have decided that existing standards at management level meet their needs as business owners. Land-based skills council Lantra is reviewing the National Occupational Standard Level 4 amenity and horticulture management qualification — 17 land-based industries are involved. Lantra project coordinator Helen Hart said the review would be completed in June 2005. She added that Lantra will talk to production horticulture group chairman Ken Turner to try and persuade the sector to take up Level 4 training. The Greenkeepers Training Committee (GTC) helped win the review to ensure golf course managers get specific training. GTC education director David Golding welcomed the move. He said: “We have been pushing for this for the best part of three years and feel it is essential to keeping the qualification as current and relevant to employers and course managers as possible.” The review, the first for five years, aims to make taking the qualification, currently with a “low” take-up of 200 golf course managers, more appealing. The GTC also reports that 1,000 golf course managers have now been trained to work as assessors. Twenty per cent more greenkeepers have passed Levels 2 and 3 Sports Turf (Greenkeeping) N/SVQs in the last year. Level 2 registrations now number 1,200. The GTC says more older staff are taking qualifications because they are based at their own courses. Greenkeeper of Chester’s Eaton Golf Club, Antony Wellings, 47, said: “I’d been a greenkeeper for eight years and had thought about qualifications but attending college didn’t appeal at my age. Work-based learning suited me well.”

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