Coventry City Football Club has signed-up two new apprentices to help future-proof the club’s groundskeeper team.
The Sky Blues have forged a new relationship with leading college group WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) to expand the grounds staff department and give young people an opportunity to join the profession.
The apprentices are based at the Championship club’s Ryton Training Ground and will be studying at renowned horticulture centre Pershore College during the two-year Sports Turf apprenticeship.
College group WCG includes seven colleges across Warwickshire and Worcestershire and the nearest provider of apprenticeships of this type for Coventry City FC.
The club decided to introduce apprentices to the groundskeeper department after a senior member of staff left, leading to a reshuffle and a need to expand the team.
Colin Wilson, Head of Grounds at Coventry City Football Club (left), said: “We had a senior staff member leave the department and after shuffling around current job roles, we were able to bring on two new apprentices to expand our team.
“The football club as a whole builds its foundations on bringing through young talent. We are pleased to be a part of that philosophy and it’s great to see young people coming into the turf industry.
“It gives everyone in the department a lift as we can nurture the next generation of grounds person through the early stages of their career, with the support of the local college, and hopefully see them go on to achieve great things in the future.
“WCG is our local training provider so it made sense to work with them and I have used WCG for apprentices in my previous role and the college has a track record of bringing through excellent, skilled individuals.
“The team at the college group have been a great help in sorting out any initial problems we encountered due to the pandemic, and the course tutor is always contactable when we need him.
“With the pandemic, it’s been a tricky one getting the new apprentices signed up, but we are there now and they cannot wait to get started.”
Dave Coutts, Sports Turf and Golf Greenkeeping Trainer Assessor at WCG, said: “The apprenticeships with Coventry City Football Club provide a fantastic opportunity for young people to get their foot in the door of a competitive industry and learn their trade in a professional sports club environment.
“We have a great track record of sports turf apprentices coming through the college and going on to secure long-term careers in the industry and we hope the new relationship with Coventry City will help bolster that reputation.
“Apprenticeships a great, cost-effective way to future-proof your workforce and it’s great to see the cub recruiting new apprentices to do just that.”
National Apprenticeship Week is taking place from Monday, February 8 to Sunday, February 14.
The Government’s apprenticeship incentive scheme closes on 31 March 2021. Ahead of the deadline businesses will be entitled to payments of £2,000 for apprentices aged between 16 and 24 and £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over.
WCG offers a wide range of apprenticeships in a variety of industries. For more information visit wcg.ac.uk/apprenticeships.