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.
We take on a minimum of 5 apprentices each year and we do so in the full expectation that they will go on to be promoted within the company. And it’s not just out on the ground. Some of our apprentices are working in the administration side of the business too.
Every year we invite around 20 people aged 16-25 to a recruitment day, from whom we end up choosing 7 or 8. We offer Level 2 in Apprenticeship in Amenity Horticulture and we then encourage the apprentices to progress to Level 3; we have also offered and Business Administration.
A knock-on effect of this training is the effect it has on other employees. Since running the apprenticeship scheme we have seen a noticeable increase in the number of employees requesting NVQ training.
Our apprentices work in a wide variety of areas across the business, including gardening, grass cutting, landscaping, streetwork as well as sports grounds and playgrounds.
From my perspective, it’s great to see these people progress and really gratifying when they end up occupying important managerial positions with us.And it’s a two-way street too. Apprenticeships bring many benefits for us, including improved efficiency, better staff performance and improved motivation. This is why I am so happy to become personally involved by conducting presentations at business networking events.
Till next time,