An apprentice from John O'Conner Grounds Maintenance Ltd met Skills and Equalities Minister Nick Boles as part of a unique celebration of apprenticeships at the House of Commons on Tuesday 10 March.
The event, organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, showcased the products and services 'made by apprentices' to politicians, existing apprentice employers and business leaders.
Jason Holt CBE, the government's small business apprentice ambassador also announced the launch of a new online mentoring service for small business, Apprenticemakers.
Apprentice, Jack Peters (22) from John O'Conner Grounds Maintenance, was invited to the event to share his experiences of taking on an apprenticeship.
Since taking on his apprenticeship, he has achieved his Level 2 Diploma in Amenity Horticulture and is currently working on his Level 3.
Jack is involved in all aspects of his employer's specialist grounds maintenance services, from gardening, sports grounds, playgrounds, grass cutting, landscaping and streetscape work.
The event took place in the wake of research from economists at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) releasing new research showing millions of consumers would prefer to do business with apprentice employers.
The Cebr also found that apprentices deliver productivity gains of over £10,000 per annum per apprentice for companies and the benefits are seen even before apprentices complete their apprenticeship.
Jason Holt CBE said:
"In launching National Apprenticeship Week we are celebrating the 2.1 million apprenticeship starts since 2010 and the positive impact they are having on businesses around the country.
"The benefits of apprenticeships are clear - they make a vital contribution to the economy, boost business productivity and give people the skills they need to get on in the world of work.
"But we know we need to do more to explain the benefits of apprenticeships to small businesses - this is why Apprenticemakers will provide SMEs interested in taking on apprentices with a mentor to help guide them through the process."
Skills Minister Nick Boles said:
"Apprenticeships make a huge contribution to the UK economy, boost business productivity and give people the chance to fulfill their potential.
"There have been more than 2 million apprenticeships since 2010 and more than 1,000 employers are now involved in designing new top quality apprenticeships in everything from accountancy to TV production.
"I want to thank everyone who has been involved in National Apprenticeship Week for the role they have played in making apprenticeships the success they are today."
Matt O'Conner, Managing Director of John O'Conner Grounds Maintenance Ltd said:
"As a family owned company, we wish to nurture our family ethos and provide opportunities for people passionate about their work.
"John O'Conner believe that the 'grow your own' approach really benefits the business.
"Our apprenticeship scheme is producing some really talented individuals and I look forward to seeing them progress within the business in the future.
"We recognise that money spent on training is not a cost to the business, it is an investment and we are committed to developing and training future managers from the ground up."