Man who lost his business during Covid lands dream greenkeeping job

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 28, 2024 10:14

A man who worked in finance until the pandemic has launched a new dream career as a greenkeeper after a large corporation gifted apprenticeship funding to a local golf club.

Pete Elliot, 41, is a keen golfer and had played at Bowring Park and Golf Course, where he now works.

He said, “I am from a science and engineering background and had my own business but then Covid happened, unfortunately. I had played golf here a lot and always thought it would be a great place to work so when I saw the job advertised, I applied for it and got it.

“I’m not your typical apprentice age and I probably thought like everybody else that it’s for school leavers and people of that age, so to find out I was eligible and it was something that I could take up was brilliant. I feel I’ve learned a lot already, the science behind what we do and the art of it as well, so I am really excited for the future.”

Large employers are required to pay 0.5 percent of their wage bill towards an apprenticeship levy – which is collected by the government to fund apprenticeships. Levy payers can spend their own allocation on in-house apprentices or gift up to 50 percent of the money to other organisations.

Aerospace company Airbus gifted some of its unused levy to smaller local firms in Merseyside, and Oneday, which manages Bowring Park and Golf Course on behalf of Knowsley Council, was one of the recipients.

Helen Paton, partnerships and funding manager at Oneday, said, “We’re really excited to have this opportunity to take on a new apprentice, it’s really important in terms of our succession planning. We really wanted Pete to be able to upskill and have fresh opportunities in his career.

“The levy opportunity was something we only recently became aware of and when we realised we could actually upskill an existing member of staff and have that fully funded, it was a real eye opener. We didn’t have the resources to do that so it has been a huge advantage.”

Kate Holthofer, Airbus head of HR, Broughton Site, said, “Airbus is a huge supporter of apprenticeships because we understand the vital part they play in the career development of thousands of individuals.

“This success story showcases the impact large businesses like Airbus can have by partnering with small businesses and communities to redistribute any unspent levy in the areas where we are based to create employment opportunities.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 28, 2024 10:14
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