Apprentice Grounds Operative Didcot Town Council

Operating within the outdoor team and helping to provide an exceptional groundscare service to all Council-owned land and facilities, carrying out the duties relating to the maintenance operation of Didcot’s parks; recreation grounds; Millennium Woods; Ladygrove Lakes; outdoor areas; play areas; sports and other Town Council outdoor activities.

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Closing date: 15 Jan 2024

Apprenticeship summary

  • Annual wage


    Great package of benefits including Local Government Pension Scheme subject to permanent employment and 27 days holiday per year.

  • Working week

    08.00 - 16.00 Monday - Thursday, 08.00 - 15.30 - Friday

    Total hours per week: 37

  • Expected duration

    18 Months

  • Possible start date

    29 Jan 2024

  • Date posted

    13 Sep 2023

  • Apprenticeship level

    Level 2 (GCSE)

  • Reference number


  • Positions

    1 available

What will the apprentice be doing?

Main duties and responsibilities: 

  • Learn how to operate and maintain a wide range of grounds maintenance tools and machinery. This may include Brush cutters, ride-on mowers, push mowers, chainsaws, blowers and hand tools
  • Learn how to identify and carry out play equipment repairs, replacing swings and fixing replacement parts. Making safe damage and taping off equipment out of use. Repainting where necessary and general maintenance
  • Perform a full range of Grounds care tasks; such as mowing (pedestrian and ride-on), litter picking, strimming and a range of more specialist work  
  • Perform a range of horticultural tasks as required, including but not limited to weeding, feeding, planting, pruning sowing and hedge cutting
  • Learn how to maintain the Didcot cemetery
  • Carry out ad-hoc repairs to various buildings including painting
  • Landscaping and clearance work to site as and when required
  • Posting and removal of notices
  • General housekeeping of the yard and storage block at Edmonds Park
  • Learn how to maintain the workshop and tools in good order
  • Get trained to carry out sports pitch marking
  • Opening buildings for others, assisting in erecting Christmas decorations inside and out, watering of beds and trees, assistance at Ladygrove Lakes for environmental issues  
  • Litter picking and general cleaning of equipment
  • Any other duties commensurate with the post that may be required by the Outdoor Services Manager; Supervisors or the Town Clerk
  • Driver’s licence preferred
  • Timekeeping, willingness to learn and adapt and positive attitude essential 

This job description is not exhaustive and may be subject to review as the Council may direct.

What training will the apprentice take and what qualification will the apprentice get at the end?


  • 15-months practical training period, plus 3-months for End Point Assessment

Delivery model:

  • Work-based training with your employer
  • Approximately 12 on-site assessment visits per year
  • 14-days college attendance to complete Horticulture Principles and Practice course
  • 1-day college attendance to complete Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid course
  • 2-days college attendance to complete Level 2 PA1 Pesticides course (theory)
  • 2-days college attendance to complete L2 PA6 Pesticides course (practical)
  • Level 1 Functional Skills in maths and English (7-days at college for each, if required)
  • Off the job training will count for at least 6 hours a week of an apprentice’s time at work

Qualifications included:

  • Level 1 Functional Skills in English and maths
  • Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid
  • Level 2 Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides
  • Level 2 Award in the Safe Application of Pesticides Using Pedestrian Handheld Equipment
  • Level 2 Horticulture Operative Apprenticeship

What is the expected career progression after this apprenticeship?

Didcot is a growing Garden Town with further devolved assets and facilities to come. The Outdoor Team will need to expand to meet these commitments so the opportunity for a permanent position is excellent.  

Requirements and prospects

Desired skills and personal qualities

Communication skills, Customer care skills, Problem solving skills, Team working, Non judgemental, Patience, Physical fitness


GCSE or equivalent English (Grade A*-C 9/4) Desired
GCSE or equivalent Maths (Grade A*-C 9/4) Desired

Things to consider

All weather working – PPE and uniform provided Public facing role Working in pairs and as a team Working in and around water Community project involvement may be required Attendance at working group meetings can be offered Hours can vary in extreme temperatures – and will be adjusted to ensure the comfort of the workforce Be prepared for critical and inaccurate comments on social media. Ensure you are mentally strong enough to cope with the socials.

About the employer

Didcot is located centrally in the Garden Town area of south Oxfordshire with a population of 35,000 – due to reach 60,000 in the next ten years. The Town Council is governed by 21 elected Town Councillors and an overall team of 20 permanent staff plus a further 15 casual workers. The Town Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer is Mrs Janet Wheeler – and she has overall responsibility for ensuring that DTC works to its very best – both in the work carried out in community but also as an employer that looks after its staff. We have a growing portfolio of community buildings including a large Civic Hall; leisure centre and several community centres. We also own acres of parks; outside spaces; play areas; outdoor fitness areas; skate park; tennis courts; the Ladygrove Lakes; the Cemetery; the Millennium Woods and over 420 allotment plots spread over five sites. Plus we have more allotments; community orchards; play areas and a country park to come over to the Town Council in the future. The Outdoor team is based at Edmonds Park in a purpose-built building. Mike Blake heads a team of six grounds operatives – assisted by Dan Furby and Jaiden Sparks. This team will need to expand as the land and facilities are devolved from the new housing estates to the Town Council. The chance of a permanent position at the end of the apprenticeship is high. The Town Council also gets involved in a range of events and activities throughout the town including the popular parade on Remembrance Sunday. This is a varied and interesting role where no two days are the same.


Didcot Town Council





OX11 8QE

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Training provider




Apprenticeship standard

Horticulture or landscape construction operative

Level 2 (GCSE)

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