National Apprenticeship Awards
Welwyn-based Grounds Maintenance company John O’Conner has been selected as a national finalist in the National Apprenticeship Awards Large Employer of the Year category. This follows on from their recent regional award as Large Employer of the Year for the East of England. John O’Conner continues to invest in apprenticeships. In 2016, the company increased the pay rates of their apprentices. Their apprentices also benefit from additional training such as Royal Horticultural Society-hosted master-classes where they receive privileged insight into centuries-old traditional practices combined with modern-day techniques from experienced Park Rangers (former 1950’s apprentices themselves). We are a nation of gardeners. The shortlisting of this local firm for this award promotes horticulture as a key sector and celebrates its UK-wide contribution to the preservation of green spaces, historical and architectural landscapes for future generations.
John O’Conner also celebrated the completion of its redevelopment of its plant and vehicle workshops in Reynards Road; formally opened by the Mayor, Cllr Pat Mabbott, and Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps at a ground breaking ceremony on November 11th 2016. This re-development represents a significant re-investment of the company’s profits and the provision of a state of the art maintenance facility which will create local jobs and apprenticeship opportunities as it expands further. An additional £1m was also invested in new plant and machinery.
Mayor Pat Mabbott said, “It has been fantastic to formally open the redevelopment. John O’Conner has made a positive contribution to Welwyn Hatfield over the past 47 years and will continue to do so with the creation of more local jobs and apprenticeships, ensuring our borough remains a great place to live, work and invest in the future.”