Apprentice groundskeeper role launched at Skills Academy for young Buddies

Keith Lasley, CEO of St Mirren FC
-Credit: (Image: Jeff Holmes JSHPIX)

Young Buddies will soon have the chance to apply for the role of a lifetime as an apprentice groundskeeper at the SMiSA stadium.

The role will see the trainee help the grounds team maintain the pristine condition of the football pitch and support general site maintenance at Love Street.

Offering hands-on experience, the new recruit will be trained to operate machinery while learning valuable skills in a professional environment as well as gain an internationally recognised iHasco certification.

The traineeship has been created by The Skills Academy, set up by part owners of St Mirren FC Kibble and adds to the commitment by both organisations to boost employment opportunities for young people.

St Mirren Groundskeeper at Training Ground
St Mirren Groundskeeper at training ground -Credit:Submitted

Mark Macmillan, Kibble director of corporate services said: “Entering the world of work can be daunting for young people, but we try to break down barriers for those who attend The Skills Academy, both from within Kibble’s own services and from the wider community.

“Our partnership with St Mirren has been transformational for The Skills Academy as it offers tangible experiences, learning opportunities and in some cases employment.

“Having access to a premiership football team has motivated our young people. It’s great to add a new paid traineeship to our growing list of collaborative projects with the club which provide such meaningful opportunities for young people.”

The focus on young workforce development has created several work placements within the Premiership club.

Young people have completed ball attendant training and secured catering and hospitality experience on match days at the stadium.

Most recently young people at Kibble’s Skills Academy have started transforming the first team dressing room, creating a bespoke and modern environment for the players to prepare themselves for the match ahead.

The renovation has included joinery work and is a continuation of the redecoration project previously completed by young people when they painted the dressing room in the club’s iconic black and white stripes.

St Mirren FC chief operating officer, Keith Lasley, said: “Our partnership is about bringing meaningful change to young people of Kibble and to those within the wider Paisley community.

“The paid traineeship role is the first of its kind, and we’re proud to be able to facilitate these valuable opportunities for young people in our community.”

He added: “We are extremely grateful for young people and their instructors using their skillset to complete renovation projects. All work completed thus far has been to an exceptional standard.

“The focus on youth employability forms part of our wider ambitions and exciting future plans to be the best community centred club in Scotland.”

The Skills Academy acts as a social enterprise and allows young people to hone their own skills in an environment that is suited to their needs.

Its central aim is to help young people navigate challenges by developing skills, gaining confidence and securing qualifications that will increase their chances of finding and sustaining employment in a role they enjoy.

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