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Our work with Cambourne Parish

Shuttleworth College’s green-fingered training helps council staff grow

As part of its remit, Cambourne Parish Council is responsible for looking after large areas of land including parks, village greens, and outdoor sports facilities.  There are currently four grounds operatives responsible for maintaining these areas throughout the year. Parish Clerk, John Vickery, explained how important training was to them: “It’s essential that our staff are appropriately trained on the machinery they use to maintain the land we’re in charge of. They work in areas that are constantly open to the public, so we need to ensure that risks to the public are reduced when the operatives are at work.”

John turns to Shuttleworth College for training as it’s the leading provider of land-based training in the region.  Just a few of the courses that his staff have completed in the last year include: Maintaining and Operating the Chainsaw Level 2 Award (NPTC), Competence in Brushcutting Operations Level 2 Certificate (NPTC), Pesticide Application: Ground Crop Sprayer Level 2 Award (NPTC).


Spreading confidence

John is clear about the benefits of the training:  “It’s given my staff the confidence to carry out their roles effectively and in a safe manner. But not only that, the benefits of going on training courses have spread to other members of staff, who have been encouraged to go on courses too. Our staff welcome this training support - it shows them that we really value what they do and we are investing in them to grow and develop in their roles.”

Bright future

Moving forward, John will continue to work closely with Shuttleworth College as he is recruiting two new apprentices.  They are younger members of the community who will attend the College one day a week for their structured learning and then for the rest of the week they will be on the job, helping the qualified groundsmen. 

John said:  “Employing apprentices has given us the opportunity to invest in the younger community and is helping us to build up well trained staff from an early age who can grow into future leaders of the team. Our lead grounds operatives will take turns in mentoring the apprentices and passing on their knowledge and different experiences. By having mentors in rotation, the apprentices will learn a wide range of skills from different people.”

John added:  “We enjoy working with Shuttleworth College and we want to keep everyone in the team happy and provide what they need in terms of training support. It makes it all worthwhile when we receive praise and positive feedback directly from the residents of the Parish, whether that’s through emails or via the Cambourne forum.”

To find out more about how Shuttleworth College can help your organisation face future challenges, please telephone: 01234 291747 or email: