IoG uncovers training shortfall

The Institute of Groundsmanship (IoG) has found that 40 per cent of the UK's 20,000 groundsmen have not had any training for a year.

In a ground-breaking survey of the grounds care industry, the IoG found that the industry is worth £580m in England and that just 0.4 per cent of its workers are women.

IoG chief executive Geoff Webb said the body of evidence will help challenge perceptions and aid an umbrella federation of associated industry bodies to lobby for greater government support. He said: "We'd see BIGGA sitting alongside that", adding that merger talks with the greenkeeper body broke down last year because of the gap between IoG membership annual fees (£37-£45) and BIGGA's (£121).

Both bodies have around 8,000 members. Webb said the proposed federation was "bigger than the two organisations". "An umbrella body would allow for shared best practice and increased influence when speaking to Government."

Webb said it could address the age and skills gap, climate change and the volunteer question - there are 20,000 unpaid groundsmen in the UK, according to the study.

IoG survey results

Section one: Profile of the industry

  • Only 0.4 per cent of workers in the industry are women.
  • Most of the staff are male, aged 40- to 49-years-old (24.4 per cent).
  • Forty per cent of people surveyed hadn't had any training in the previous 12 months.
  • Just under 10 per cent of people in the industry made a definite career choice to be a grounds care specialist. The majority moved into the industry via indirect routes.
  • The majority of those surveyed (61.1 per cent) were satisfied with their jobs, but over a third felt "quite", "not very" or "not at all" satisfied.

Section two: Scale of the industry

  • The industry is worth over £580m for sports surfaces in England, not including parks and other open spaces.
  • Nearly 20,000 people work in the industry on a full-time basis.
  • Around 20,000 people also work as volunteer grounds specialists.

Umbrella group

Proposed bodies to include: Agricultural Engineering Association; Amenity Turf Forum; BIGGA; CABE; GreenSpace; HTA; Land Drainage Contractors' Association; colleges; and trainers. and others.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Business planning - Managing price volatility

Business planning - Managing price volatility

There are options to help you manage the impact of exchange rate fluctuations when buying from abroad, Neville Stein advises.

Sargent's solutions - regulations and legislative requirements underline the professional status of landscape contractors and gardeners

Sargent's solutions - regulations and legislative requirements underline the professional status of landscape contractors and gardeners

Regulations benefit individual gardeners and landscapers as well as the wider industry, Alan Sargent explains.



Customers do not often know about the different leaf colours and shapes offered by hollies, Miranda Kimberley reports.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Horticulture Week Top 50 Landscape and maintenance contractors

See our exclusive ranking of landscape and maintenance contractors by annual turnover. 

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy

Products & Kit Resources