A St Albans golf club has become one of the first in the country to be approved to join the Government funded employment scheme Kickstart.

It means Verulam Golf Club will be able to employ young local staff members to undertake roles in a variety of departments, with all of their salary, uniform and training costs funded by the scheme.

The Kickstart scheme is aimed at getting 18–24-year-olds into work, providing on-the-job experience alongside online training courses run by marketing consultancy Promote Golf, and offering golf clubs a fully-funded staffing solution for when furlough support ends later this year.

As part of the funding, candidates will receive training in customer service and health and safety, plus for greenkeeping-based positions, courses will cover turfgrass fundamentals including the identification of turf diseases.

General manager Paul Keen said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Promote Golf on this new opportunity for the UK golf industry, the timing couldn’t be more appropriate. With furlough support expected to end in April, this funding will certainly help many clubs to compliment staffing levels as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic, at the same time providing young people with valuable work experience, improving their skill set and future employability.”

Verulam Golf Club is also developing a new clubhouse facility with improved, larger conference facilities.

This will include an integral Home of the Ryder Cup museum reflecting the founding role played by former club captain Samuel Ryder in setting up what is now the third largest watched sporting event in the world.

Ryder, who joined the Verulam Club in 1909, arranged a match between professional golfers from Britain and America in June 1926 which was to be the forerunner of the Ryder Cup.

In a clubhouse discussion afterwards it was agreed that the matches should continue on a biennial basis and the first official Ryder Cup would be played the next year.

Paul added: “The club sees this as a major addition to St Albans tourism and plans to work closely with the city’s Visitor Partnership to attract people to the museum and the already established iconic tourism opportunities St Albans provides.”