A golf ball next to the hole which is being trimmed

Apprenticeship in Horticulture - Sports Turf

Learn to keep sports pitches and grounds in excellent condition with an Apprenticeship in Horticulture.

Horticulture isn't just about keeping hedges and gardens looking neat and tidy - there's also the upkeep and management of both private and public sports grounds to consider too.

Sports turf apprentices will be responsible for the maintenance, renovation and overall appearance of one (or more) sports turf surfaces. What's required of you in your job will vary depending on the employer's needs and the type of sport(s) which are available at the place where you work.

If you enjoy plenty of hands-on work in outdoor conditions, want to gain new skills while working and want to earn a wage while doing so, considering a career in as an apprentice in horticultural sports turf is an excellent choice.

What Can I Expect to Do As a Sports Turf Apprentice?

The day-to-day work of a horticultural apprentice can be quite different. One day you might be out repainting the lines of a football pitch to exact measurements and the next you may be out cutting the grass and weeding to maintain a healthy appearance.

You could work in a wide variety of different sports and venues as a sports turf apprentice. Athletics, bowls, cricket, croquet, football, hockey, horse racing, rugby league/union, tennis and many other sports rely on their groundsmen to keep their playing surfaces in excellent condition - in your role, you'll learn how to do this and gradually progress towards a full qualification while earning plenty of new skills along the way.

As an apprentice, you'll be working closely alongside senior members of staff who will be responsible for your training and continued professional development. You will also be support by East Durham College as your apprenticeship provider, and may be expected at times to attend college for further study and training as is needed during your apprenticeship.

You'll earn new skills and abilities such as:

  • The Ability to Maintain and Renovate Turf Surfaces - you'll learn to make sure all surfaces are fit for purpose and safe to use using many different specialist techniques
  • Learn to Use Specialist Tools - including mowers, scarifiers, aerators and other specialist hand tools. You may also ride specialist mowers, tractors and other driveable equipment
  • How to Calibrate Equipment - ensure your equipment is set up correctly to apply the correct material requirements such as grass seed and fertiliser
  • Prevention and Control Methods - learn to understand how to maintain healthy turf to prevent disease, remove pests and weeds
  • Marking Sports Areas - to exact standards as defined by the Laws of the Governing Bodies of Sport
  • Maintenance of Tools - learn to maintain your tools, equipment and machinery to ensure they're working as they should do
  • Drainage and Irrigation Maintenance - effectively use these measures to maintain pitches to a high standard
  • Communication Skills - work closely as a member of team alongside senior staff and others to maintain a high standard of work

Sports Turf Apprentice Video

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