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News

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Year: 2013

HorticultureWeek’s Apprentice of the Year Award

It was great to see that Ellis Molyneux was shortlisted for HorticultureWeek’s Apprentice of the Year Award 2013. Unfortunately Ellis did not walk away with the accolade  this time but it is still a massive achievement and one to be acknowledged.

When Ellis joined John O’Conner he was working nights in a warehouse and was looking for a new direction. He was keen to learn a trade and came to an open-day to learn all about the JOC apprenticeship scheme. Once he had spent some time with the company he knew this opportunity was the right one for him.

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John O’Conner win the prestigious Principal Award in the Employer of the Year 2013

John O’Conner are delighted to have received a major Principal Award at the BALI National Landscape Awards 2013, held in London on Friday 6th December at the Grosvenor House Hotel Ballroom.

The Awards, which are run annually by the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI), pay tribute to landscape designers and contractors who have demonstrated exceptionally high standards of professionalism and skill, and supplier members for their overall customer service.

John O’Conner won the prestigious Principal Award in the Employer of the Year category, competing against 3 major competitors in the industry. Comedian, actor and writer Hugh Dennis hosted the ceremony and presented the award.

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BALI EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARD 2013/14

December is often a time for good news and this year is no different. I am thrilled that John O’Conner has received a major award at the BALI National Landscape Awards 2013, held in London on Friday 6th December, for employer of the year.

The Awards, which are run annually by the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI), pay tribute to landscape designers and contractors who have demonstrated exceptionally high standards of professionalism and skill, and supplier members for their overall customer service.

Our company won a BALI Principal Award for Employer of the Year 2013 /14.

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A new role to help nurture and grow apprenticeships in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire

I’m really pleased to announce that I have agreed to become an Apprenticeship Ambassador for the Hertfordshire and South Cambridgeshire Ambassador Network.

This network has recently been set up to help spread the word about the value that apprentices can bring to organisations.

There’s a lot of research to suggest that one of the best ways to get new employers involved with apprenticeship schemes is for peer groups to spread the word. The avowed aims of the network are to:

Champion apprenticeships to employers of all sizes, with the aim of increasing the number of apprenticeship opportunities offered across Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire,

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John O’Conner Apprentice Meets Prime Minister David Cameron

It is certainly not every day you get to meet the Prime Minister, well back in October Benedict Monck our apprentice from East Herts was given that opportunity. He provided a report on his experience which I would like to share on this blog. It sounds like it was an amazing opportunity please read for yourself.

 The Future of Apprenticeships in England: held at BMW Mini Factory, Oxford on October 28,

 Report by Benedict Edward Monck, John O’Conner apprentice, East Herts

It isn’t every day, or even very likely, that you get to meet the Prime Minister.

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L&Q Creating Places Awards 2013 Contractor of the Year runner up

London and Quadrant Contractors, residents and staff came together last week to celebrate the Creating Places Awards 2013.

John O’Conner, the grounds maintenance contractor for L&Q Thames region, was proud to attend the prestigious event hosted by the guest of honour, actor and musician, Martin Kemp.

There were seven categories, with a winner and runner-up in each, as well as a surprise life time achievement award.

Martin Perry, Regional Manager and Paul Stubberfield, Senior Chargehand for John O’Conner, were delighted to receive the award for runner up in the Contractor of the Year category.

The community project which led to the nomination included John O’Conner clearing,

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BALI visit to Hayter/Toro – impressive on many levels

Hayter/Toto tour – impressive on many levels

Recently I has a fantastic opportunity to take BALI North Thames on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Hayter/Toro factory in Spellbrook near Bishop’s Stortford.

This company has been a true pioneer in our industry, with founder Douglas Hayter pioneering the rotary lawnmower and going on to develop a huge range of lawnmowing products for homeowners as well as professionals. I have to agree that this brand has become synonymous with British grass cutting.

John O’Conner has a long and proud association with this company, going back over 40 years – a period which spans most of our companies history.

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Our apprentices make a bit of history at Ally Pally

I’ll keep saying it – apprenticeship schemes are just so important in our industry. This was brought home to me just a couple of weeks ago when The Royal Parks Guild, of which we are a member, invited us down the iconic Alexandra Palace and Gardens for a special 150 year anniversary celebration.

The building, constructed in 1873 as ‘The People’s Palace’, is surrounded by 196 acres of North London parkland, and offers fantastic views of the city. When you are there, soaking up its Victorian splendour, you’re instantly aware of just what a treasure this place is.

How lucky for me and our team of apprentices that we had the opportunity to play a small part in its ongoing story.

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3 Peaks Extreme

At last 3 Peaks Challenge is behind me. Give me a few months and I’ll be able to walk again. Seriously, it wasn’t quite as torturous as I thought it was going to be. Not quite, but close!

I’ve got to admit that last week I was far from certain I’d be saying these three words to you now, but, well – ‘I did it’!

Actually it’s fairer to say we did it, because I know for a fact that I could not have got through the whole thing if it hadn’t been for the support of all the other guys around me and our support team.

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Officially commended for apprenticeships

More great news for us – John O’Conner just achieved a Highly Commended in the Apprenticeship Newcomer of the Year award for the Central Eastern Region.

Apprenticeships are rapidly becoming a key part of our company’s ‘family’ culture as well as being an ongoing success story for us. I know how this can all sound like nothing more than a load of fine words, but we really do set out to bed our services into the communities we serve by investing in the futures of young people.

We only started taking on apprentices in 2011, largely as a result of our work with the Job Centre Back to Work Scheme and the Extended Work Experience Scheme.

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