IoG targets low-salary culture

The Institute of Groundsmanship (IoG) is calling for a 3.5 per cent increase in the national minimum salary bands for UK grounds staff this year.

Chief executive Geoff Webb said: "It is a major concern that the average salary of entry- and mid-level jobs remains below or at the lower end of our recommended minimum. We are facing a skills gap in the near future and continuing to pay below the recommended rates will only exacerbate this."

Webb added that the IoG would work with employers, the Government and sector skills councils to raise the profile and standing of the profession.

But research by PBi Consulting revealed that senior grounds management roles were beginning to be competitively rewarded.

Webb said the IoG would embark on a second-stage study to identify the standing of grounds staff within their organisations and the reasons for the perceptions. The Grounds for Concern study is due in spring and will home in on qualifications and pay, said PBi Consulting director Steve Pheasant. "Divergence in pay settlement levels between the public and private sectors will continue in 2009," he added.

The IoG's recommended national basic salary bands for 2009 include:

- £28,100 to £40,400 for grounds managers;

- £23,965 to £31,170 for head grounds staff;

- £10,370 for junior grounds staff who are aged 16.

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