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Learning LIVE signals opportunity

The SALTEX 2017 free education programme is set to inspire visitors at the NEC on 1 and 2 November.

With the full Learning LIVE programme set to be revealed in the coming weeks, the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) has released a few teaser seminars. The programme looks set to provide limitless opportunities and inspire and educate visitors from a wide range of sectors within the turfcare industry.

Now in its third year, SALTEX’s free-to-attend education programme has gone from strength to strength. Last year, Learning LIVE saw 53 unique seminars, 99 high-profile speakers and many key topical issues explored. For 2017, the programme will follow the same successful format developed over the past two years situated within four purpose-built seminar theatres on the show floor with state-of-the-art sound systems and screens.

Within the theatres a number of influential speakers will be on hand to provide updates and key advice. Mark Pover, facilities investment strategy manager at The Football Association (FA), will be participating in a panel debate entitled ‘Funding the future of natural turf.’ With so much money being invested into artificial turf, SALTEX visitors will have an opportunity to ask the funders if there is a danger of natural turf being left behind.

Commenting on the panel debate, Mark said: "We haven't forgotten the fact that the majority of football matches in this country are played on natural grass. We have just shy of 800 artificial pitches on our 3G register suitable for affiliated matches and we are continuing to invest in these but there are approximately 23,000 natural grass pitches. Clearly these are very important, as is the quality, so we will continue to improve and use natural turf pitches to keep people playing and also attract new players.

"We are currently spending two million pounds a year on natural turf pitch improvements and I believe that SALTEX is the ideal place to update the industry so that visitors understand exactly what we are doing and the targets we have set. It is also a good opportunity to address some of the negative rumours that are circulated annually and reinforce our commitment to natural turf."

For those visitors that are looking to progress their career, the ‘Career development’ seminar presented by Steve Chappell, head greenkeeper at the PGA Centenary Golf Course at The Gleneagles Hotel, should not be missed. Steve will be primarily focusing on how volunteering can significantly help improve job prospects.

“The thought process behind the session is to provide a little bit more of an understanding of how volunteering can help improve and embellish your CV,” says Steve. “It can help you stand out from the crowd and be more employable to a prospective employer.

“The seminar would be beneficial for younger people in the industry, and also maybe for those who feel they have become stuck in a rut. The message behind it all, is to use the opportunities that are out there to develop yourself because it can help you take that next step which will give you that career fulfilment you are looking for.”

Additionally, the seminar ‘Making your move’ will be beneficial in helping a visitor along their career path. Wayne Billing, head groundsman at Northampton Saints RFC; Stuart Kerrison, head groundsman at Essex CCC and Danny Beckley, head of estates and grounds at Harrow School, will all be on hand to reveal the secrets behind making it to the top within their respective fields.

For further inspiration, John Ledwidge will be documenting his rise from starting in an apprentice position through to being the current grounds manager at Leicester City FC in ‘From apprentice to grounds manager’. In a separate seminar John will also be joined by the rest of his grounds team in a session entitled ‘Building a team for success.’

By attending any of these seminars within the programme, SALTEX visitors have the opportunity to enhance their CV as IOG and Basis CPD points are available for all Learning LIVE sessions. Attendance at the seminars can be recorded by picking up a CPD form from the IOG Hub (Stand C180) and can contribute towards the minimum requirement of 35 hours in 12 months in order to qualify for the IOG’s Certificate of CPD Achievement.

After being motivated by the Learning LIVE seminars, visitors can visit SALTEX 2017’s new feature - the Job Clinic. Located on the IOG Hub, industry expert Frank Newberry will be hosting 15-minute one-to-one sessions covering CV writing to interview techniques. To book an appointment with Frank, visitors are advised to go to the IOG information desk on the IOG Hub as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Located in the centre of the UK, whether you are travelling from overseas or within the UK, the NEC is incredibly easy to get to by car, rail or air. No matter what route you take, one thing is certain - opportunity awaits on November 1 and 2 at SALTEX 2017.

The full programme of SALTEX events will be regularly updated via www.iogsaltex.com.

Visitor registration to SALTEX 2017 is free. To confirm your attendance visit www.iogsaltex.com

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