Apprentice meets minister in Parliament

A John O'Conner apprentice grounds maintenance operative joined his managing director to meet a minister at an event in the House of Commons.

Apprentice Jack Peters in the House of Commons
Apprentice Jack Peters in the House of Commons

At 22 Jack Peters has achieved his Level 2 Diploma in Amenity Horticulture with John O’Conner and is currently working on Level 3.

He and John O’Conner managing director Matt O’Conner attended the ‘Made by Apprenticeship’ event held at the House of Commons yesterday to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. 

Skills Minster Nick Boles and apprenticeship ambassador in Parliament Andrew Jones MP attended the event and spoke to Peters about his life as an apprentice. This includes a range of work from gardening, grass cutting, landscaping and streetscape work to looking after sports grounds and playgrounds,

O’Conner, who holds a horticulture degree, said "I was delighted to attend the Made by Apprenticeship event held at the House of Commons.

The event was for SME’s to showcase what apprentices can achieve and how they can help businesses flourish. During the afternoon event both myself and Jack were able to speak to business yet to get on board with apprenticeships and hopefully we have convinced them of the many benefits.

"The on the job training with a mixture of classroom and work based training is a great way of developing long term skills and has allowed us as employers to tap into new talent, upskill our workforce and be ready and able to grow the business by becoming more productive."

Peters got a taste for horticulture at school, where he gained his Level 1 Diploma in Horticulture and chose an apprenticeship in the industry so that he could achieve higher levels while also working.

He is now doing an Amenity Horticulture Level 3 apprenticeship.

He said a highlight so far was working on designing and developing the rose garden at Alexandra Palace for the 150 year anniversary celebrations.

"It is a beautiful place," he said. "I thoroughly enjoyed the work and the whole experience. Everyone made me feel very welcome."

"I love being outside. There is constant work and no time to be bored. I just really enjoy the variety of work involved, every day is different. I just fitted in straight away in the contract which I was given. I didn’t expect to fit in so well. John O’Conner have helped me so much."

Look out for more apprentice stories on the Horticulture Week website this week.

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