Apprentice tees up a career in green-keeping

A golf club in Torksey has become one of the latest employers in the district to discover the benefits of hiring an apprentice.

Apprentice Aaron Stern learns the ropes from head green keeper Adrian Kitchinson
Apprentice Aaron Stern learns the ropes from head green keeper Adrian Kitchinson

Aaron Stern, 18, started work as an apprentice green keeper at Lincoln Golf Club in April.

Aaron will work towards a Diploma in Horticulture, with an emphasis on green keeping during his two-year apprenticeship, run by Riseholme College.

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He said: “I wanted an apprenticeship because I wanted to be able to work and get an education at the same time.”

“I’m really enjoying it. It fits me perfectly because I have always wanted a manual, hands on job so I can work outside. I’m also getting into golf now I’m surrounded by it.”

Golf club manager Craig Innes said apprenticeships offer young people a ‘big opportunity.

“We wanted to give a young person the chance to experience green keeping, to learn what it’s all about and to provide that training opportunity for a career,” he said.

“There are many green keepers who have started their career as an apprentice and gone on to work at Open Championship venues, larger 36 hole complexes or even gone abroad to further their careers.”

“For a person that likes to work outside and is hands on, this provides a big opportunity to learn and develop skills that will be with them for life.”

Lincoln Golf Club, which was founded in 1871 and now has more than 500 members, has been able to receive the Government’s Apprenticeship Grant for Employers, worth £1,500, to support Aaron’s training.

The club was supported by Shirley Bates, from the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, who advertised the apprenticeship, dealt with the selection of candidates and completed the first interviews.

She said: “Providing an apprenticeship for a young person can deliver real returns to your business.”

“As an employer you will play a key role in their training to ensure it meets your organisational needs.”

“The Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce will be happy to support any employer wishing to consider this route,” she added.

West Lindsey District Council is a keen supporter and employer of apprentices, and is working to raise the profile of apprenticeships across the district.

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