John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance Ltd have been named Highly Commended Apprenticeship Newcomer Employer of the Year 2013 for the Central Eastern Region.
The results were announced at a high profile awards ceremony organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, which was held at the Cambridge Belfry Hotel on 5 September 2013. John O’Conner, Chairman, attended the awards with Ian Pitkin, Contracts Director, Neil Cain, Operations Director, Martine Dorrington, Office Manager, Neha Patel, Business Development Manager and Benedict Monck, Apprentice.
The National Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding Apprenticeship employers and their apprentices. The awards are organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, who received in excess of 1,600 high quality entrants this year for the Central Eastern Region.
“This year’s awards were an exceptional showcase of the outstanding apprentices and employers we have in our region.
Given the high volume and extraordinary calibre of entries we received, those who reached the regional final really are the cream of the crop.
I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate John O’Conner for this superb achievement. They are a shining example of how Apprenticeships can allow employers to grow their own talent, and enable apprentices to build real careers.”
Karen Woodward, Divisional Apprenticeship Director
Established in 1969, John O’Conner are a respected market leader in public and private sector specialist grounds maintenance services across the UK. John O‘Conner launched their Apprenticeship Scheme in May 2011 to coincide with successfully winning new contracts and the success of previous schemes supporting the young and disadvantaged via Back to Work Scheme, Extended Work Experience Scheme and ChoicES. This success prompted a directive to establish an on-going Apprentice Scheme as part of John O’Conner’s Business Strategy Plan and included providing a dedicated Mentor, Richard Smith, for the Apprentices.
“John O’Conner believe the ‘grow your own’ approach really benefits the business. Our apprenticeship scheme is producing some really talented individuals and I look forward to seeing them progress within the business in the future. We recognise that money spent on training is not a cost to the business, it is an investment and we are committed to developing and training future managers from the ground up.”
Matt O’Conner, Managing Director