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Category: BALI

BALI Principal Award Winners 2018!

John O’Conner are delighted to have received a major Principal Award 2018 for Grounds Maintenance – Limited Access, together with our Client Serco at their site The Emergency Planning College, The Hawkhills in York.

The awards were held in London on Friday 7th December at the Grosvenor House Hotel and were hosted by journalist and television presenter Dan Walker.

The Awards, which are run annually by the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI), pay tribute to landscape designers and specialist Landscape and Grounds Maintenance contractors who have demonstrated exceptionally high standards of professionalism and skill.

Managing Director,

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National Apprenticeship Awards 2018

John O’Conner were announced as Regional Highly Commended Winner in September at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2018, which took place at Mercedes Benz World in Weybridge. We came runners up to MBDA who are a Global manufacturer of missiles based in Stevenage.

This Award demonstrates our commitment and investment we place into our Apprenticeship programme and into each of our Apprentices.

Matt O’Conner comments: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive the South East Regional Highly Commended Winner Award. With our new group of apprentices for 2018 having recently joined us, the recognition we’ve received is a tangible accolade to the continued investment we’re making.

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Neil Cain Operations Director wins National Apprenticeship Award

Huge congratulations to Neil Cain, our Operations Director who was last night named the City & Guilds Apprentice Champion of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards at an exclusive ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House. This was one of the most coveted awards and Neil fought off competition from hundreds of other apprentices around England to be awarded the top prize.

The Awards, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognise excellence in two areas: businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces.

Neil was chosen as the winner in recognition of the outstanding contribution he has made to apprenticeships since starting as one in 1980 in the Sunderland Parks Department.

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Made by Apprentices

Really pleased to see that apprenticeships are back on the political agenda and gaining widespread news coverage. Labour are stating that if elected they will guarantee apprenticeship places for every school leaver that ‘gets the grade’ by 2020. The conservative response from Rt Hon Grant Shapps was to state that under the current government apprenticeships have doubled and if re-elected they will put three million people into apprentice places. So the clear winner is the apprenticeship programme, it will continue to get government support and has good will from both sides of the political spectrum.

At John O’Conner we will continue to invest in our apprenticeship programme and skills training.

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Help! John O’Conner steps up to another Perennial challenge!

John O’Conner has entered two teams to take part in an activity-based challenge to raise money for Perennial (formerly ‘The Gardeners Royal Benevolent Society’).

This challenge will see me and my fellow team members walking or running the equivalent of 7 marathons over a period of six weeks! The challenge is to do 10,000 steps every day – the equivalent of running, walking cycling or swimming an additional 45-60 minutes of activity each day for this period. The good news is that with every training session I complete, I am becoming more and more confident that I will survive!

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A new ‘parks alliance’ to help our industry speak with one voice

A couple of weeks ago, I got together with 40 other key UK executives from our industry, to discuss building a cross-sector group or ‘Parks Alliance’.

This was hosted by ‘Horticulture Week’ and it was the second round-table discussion prompted by their ‘Make Parks a Priority’ campaign. The main focus of all of this is to raise our industry profile and provide a united voice amid cuts to park budgets.

In light of the new public health role of local authorities, it was generally felt that our timing was good. Maybe now, things could move full circle – after all,

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O’Conner on board!

Earlier this year Wayne Grills, Chief Operating Officer for BALI (British Association of Landscaping Industries) asked me if I’d consider putting myself up for nomination to become a member of the BALI board.

After some consideration I did make myself available and I’m now pleased to tell you that at the recent BALI AGM held at the SALTEX trade show I was voted onto the board.

Now, I look forward to joining the existing board members and other new recruits. Between us we will represent the many and diverse viewpoints of the landscape industry, from across the whole of BALI’s geographical membership.

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