Employing a Greenkeeper

Photograph by: Josh Dunn, Bramcote Waters Golf Club, Warwickshire

Guidance Notes for Employers

We know that recruiting the right staff and ensuring they have the skills and knowledge to do the job is paramount. We can help you find out about current workbased greenkeeper training programmes.

Key benefits

  •     development of a well-trained, motivated workforce
  •     increased productivity through better trained staff
  •     improved company performance
  •     demonstrates your commitment to staff development

Benefits to the Club and the Team Employers / Course Managers: 

The benefits of apprenticeships are becoming increasingly obvious to Golf Clubs.  It is a fact that apprenticeships develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.  Businesses that offer apprenticeships view them as beneficial to their long-term development.  The Greenkeepers Training Committee (GTC) have produced a handy guide 'The GTC Golf Greenkeeper Apprenticeship Scheme' which can be downloaded as 'Download 16' using the following link:  www.the-gtc.co.uk/learning/information-sheets-to-download/  This guide looks at funding, the employer's key roles and responsibilities and also the apprentice's key roles and responsibilities.

What does 'Apprenticeship Off-The-Job Training' mean?

Apprenticeships last for a minimum of 12 months and involve at least 20% off-the-job training.  This can include job shadowing, attending industy events, attending competitions, writing up assessments and assignments in a quiet space within the Golf Club, or online learning about machinery or manufacturers guidelines.  Find out more about the 20% off-the-job rule here.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates

The rates for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage can be found on the Gov.uk link.  The rates change every April.


Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Please note that an apprentice can be of any age. 

Information regarding the funding changes for apprentices can be found on the:

Read more about current wage rates visit Gov.UK

Employing an Apprentice Guide


Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for businesses and for employees; an apprenticeship is a first step in a career where employees will continue to develop and train into the future, increasing their skills and knowledge as they progress along their career path.   For Golf Clubs Employers, apprenticeships provide the skilled workforce they need to offer great golf courses to their members and to gain and retain a productive and motivated workforce.  An apprenticeship is a package of learning that combines on and off site learning, to ensure the apprentice gains the skills and knowledge they need. To learn more about what an apprenticeship is, the National Apprenticeship Service have produced a fact sheet  'A guide to apprenticeships' and the following link will take you to more information on the Gov.uk website about apprenticeships, traineeships and internships.


Training Providers

As part of the training of a greenkeeper, finding a suitable training provider is essential.  The Greenkeepers Training Committee (GTC) maintains a list of GTC Approved Training Providers.  These colleges and training centres offer Government approved greenkeeping courses and qualifications that have been developed by the GTC, BIGGA and other relevant organisations.  In many cases funding support is available.

To find out more about these training providers, use the links below to be taken to the individual pages which show the range of courses available at your chosen centre.

If you want to find the nearest provider to your region, try the Course Finder and discover the GTC Approved Training Provider locations.


List of Training Providers





In spring 2017, the way the Government funded apprenticeships in England is changed.  Some employers are required to contribute to an Apprenticeship Levy. Others will be involved in Co‑investment.

Apprenticeship Levy

From 6 April 2017, employers with an annual wage bill of over £3million are required to invest in apprenticeships and contribute to a new apprenticeship levy. Employers will also have to pay the levy if they are connected to other companies or charities for Employment Allowance which have an annual pay bill of more that £3m.  Those who fall into these categories will have to pay through the Government Gateway PAYE system.

Once the levy has been declared to HMRC, employers will access the funding through an apprenticeship service account.  The levy applies to all UK employers, with the service supporting the English apprenticeship system.  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own arrangements for supporting employers to access apprenticeships:

Scotland: www.apprenticeships.scot 
Wales: businesswales.gov.wales/skillsgateway/apprenticeship-levy
Northern Ireland: nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/apprenticeships

Employers should negotiate a price for each apprenticeship with their main provider.

This will include: 

• A programme of training and education

• The cost of the end-point assessment (Assessment Organisation)

Funds from the account can be used up to the funding band maximum.  However, if employers agree a higher price, they will have to cover the balance.

If you do not fall into the category to pay the levy, you will not need to use the apprenticeship service to pay for training and assessment until at least 2018.

The levy will be charged at 0.5% of an employer’s wage bill. In return, the employer will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment.


An employer with a pay bill of £4 million will expect to pay:
0.5% x £4,000,000 = £20,000
With the government allowance: 
£20,000 – £15,000 = £5,000 annual payment.



They will still:

• Choose the programme of training and education apprentices will receive

• Choose an Approved Training Provider and Assessment Organisation

The funding for new apprenticeships began after May 2017 with the employer paying 10% and the government paying 90%.  This is called Co-investment.  From 1st April 2019 the rate of co-investment will be reduced to 5% for all new apprenticeship starts, with government funding of 95% provided to cover the remaining costs.   Payment will be made directly to the employer and can be spread over the term of the apprenticeship with an agreed payment schedule.  Employers who take on a 16 to 18 year old on an apprenticeship standard, will receive £1,000 to help meet the extra costs. Training providers will also receive an incentive payment of £1,000 to reflect the Government’s commitment to have more young people on apprenticeships.

The funds, whether through the apprenticeship service account or through co-investment, can only be used towards the costs of apprenticeship training and end-point assessments with an approved Training Provider and Approved Assessment Organisation.

From May 2017, those employers with a pay bill of less that £3m are required to co-invest in training.


Maximum funding cap = £6000
Governement contributes = £5400 maximum
Employer = £600 maximum

Qualification Framework in the UK

Qualifications and apprenticeships vary across the regions in the UK.  The following guide highlights the routes available in your region.

* This page is currently under construction. Please contact BIGGA if you require more information.

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