Over 250 golf clubs took part in recruitment drive

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick January 23, 2022 08:23

A UK government initiative that offers 16-to-24 year olds a six month work placement at a golf club was taken up by more than 250 venues in 2021, resulting in employment for more than 400 people.

The Kickstart initiative provides a work placement with full salary, uniform and training costs funded by the government, and to-date golf clubs have enjoyed access to over £2.8 million in salary grant funding.

David Reeves, managing director of Promote Golf, which worked on the initiative, commented: “Young people often need experience to get a job but need a job to get experience. It’s a very difficult step, securing that first job, and the Kickstart scheme created roles that would allow inexperienced people to make this first move into the workplace.”

Support of the scheme from the UK golf industry has been widespread, consisting of individual golf clubs to multi-site operators. Indeed, the three largest golf operators, The Club Company, BGL Golf and Crown Golf, have all utilised the initiative to employ young people across a variety of job roles.

One of the 250-plus clubs to take advantage of this initiative was Thornbury Golf Centre near Bristol. Part of the Burhill Golf & Leisure Group (BGL), the club’s general manager, Tim Good, commented: “BGL are delighted to have been able to take part in this initiative and provide new employment opportunities for young people. The initiative has been exceptionally rewarding, both for us and our new team members, who have demonstrated fantastic commitment to learning and a growing passion for their roles.”

The most popular jobs for Kickstart employees were seen in course maintenance and greenkeeping departments, helping the team prepare and maintain the course over the summer and autumn months. In addition to greenkeepers, Kickstart employees were also taken on in front-of-house food and beverage roles, as well as kitchen, golf operations and administrative positions.

The first tranche of Kickstart employees reached the end of their six month placement in the autumn, but many have been retained by the clubs and given permanent contracts. One notable success that stands out is that of Joseph Turner, employed via Kickstart at Cowdray Estate in West Sussex. In his role as a golf operations assistant, Joseph recently held off competition from different industries to win ‘Kickstart Apprentice of the Year’ in the Sussex Apprenticeship Awards held at the Brighton Metropole Hilton Hotel.

Tim Allan, Cowdray Estate’s director of golf, commented: “Joseph has developed skills here at Cowdray through the year, from marshalling and starting to working in the pro shop, which acts as the golf club’s operational hub. In this capacity, he is further understanding the whole operation here and growing into a very valuable member of the team.”

It’s something David is rightly proud to highlight: “The correspondence we received from the golf clubs saying they’d taken on the Kickstarter permanently were so rewarding – and we had plenty of them. That was the real sense of achievement for me, knowing that we’d facilitated an opportunity for these young people, and they’d grasped it with both hands. It made the whole initiative, and the hard work behind it, totally worthwhile.”

The scheme is now closed for new funding applications but remains open for golf clubs with unused grants wishing to take on new staff up until March 31, 2022.

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick January 23, 2022 08:23
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1 Comment

  1. CJG January 23, 20:16

    Thanks for sharing, a great way to bring in a new generation to work in and appreciate the sport.

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