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16 February 2024

Celebrating our apprentices: A day of inspiration, networking and fun at idverde

During National Apprenticeship Week, we hosted a special event at our idverde head offices to inspire and celebrate the achievements of our colleagues who undertook and gained apprenticeships last year. It was a great opportunity for Chris Clare, Pat Buntam, Adam Jones, Aaron Hall, Xavier Mason, Jaydine Heath, Kai Aldridge, Becky Shingles, Martin Grant-Hudson (known as Sonny) to meet and network with each other, as well as with some of our senior leaders and managers.

The event started with introductions from all the group, who shared who they are, where they work, what they do, and what apprenticeships they were involved with. Chris and Pat undertook L2 LGV, while the other apprentices undertook L2 Horticulture. The group had the chance to listen to a talk conducted by Kristian Lennard, idverde’s Chief Executive Officer, who spoke about the importance of apprenticeships and the wider business and opportunities.

Amanda Capon, idverde’s People Director, welcomed the group too, and asked them to share any ideas on how we can keep on improving and supporting the apprenticeship schemes we offer. Amanda commented; ‘’We want to make idverde the best company to work for, and we value our apprentices’ feedback and suggestions’’

We then conducted a fun fact treasure hunt, giving the group a chance to get up and talk to each other to find out information about their peers. There were prizes for those who found out the most fun facts. It was a fun and interactive way to break the ice and to learn more about each other.

The day was further enriched by two guest speakers from idverde operational teams: Lucy Fisher, Operations Director (London + South East), and Owen Rogers, Head Gardener (Kensington and Chelsea). They shared their stories about undertaking apprenticeships and progressing through the business. They also gave some valuable advice and tips to the apprentices, and reminded them how they were once in their shoes.

The event brought to life a series of motivational quotes displayed around the room, asking people to stand by those that really resonated with them and to explain why. It was interesting to hear the different perspectives and interpretations of the quotes, and how they related to their personal and professional goals.

Celebrating our apprentices2024b

‘’Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.’’ – Sam Lavenson.

‘’Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value’’ – Albert Einstein

As part of National Apprenticeship Week last week, you can also read a number of our blogs, which include Q&As from eleven of our apprentices:


Another highlight of the event was an impromptu talk by Chris Clare, who works in the Traffic Management division. He explained what his role entails and how it contributes to the success of idverde. He also answered some questions from the group, who were curious and impressed by his work.

Chris said; “I was invited to head office to take part in the apprentice celebrations. The day was thoroughly enjoyable with some great conversations and interactions with colleagues that I hadn’t met before. The whole event had a nice relaxed atmosphere. It was also a pleasure to speak to the group about the Traffic Management division I work for within idverde. A large amount of the company doesn’t know we do that kind of work, so I was more than happy to explain what we do, why we do it and enjoyed answering some questions from the group. I will look forward to celebrating the next group of apprentices at the next event. Thank you all involved!”
Celebrating our apprentices2024a

The group then spent some time discussing idverde values and how our behaviours help to support our mission and vision. We asked all the apprentices to write down one value they have seen being done really well and one that needs improvement. They then shared their thoughts with the wider group, in a respectful and constructive way. We also linked this exercise to a bit of a ‘snakes & ladders’ game, which was a fun way to illustrate the impact of our values on our culture and performance. Everyone recognised how following those values really supports our culture and helps to make idverde a great place to work.

We then spoke about the apprentices and their futures – what they are looking for in the short term and over the next five years. They worked in pairs to discuss their plans and ambitions, and then shared them with the wider group. It was inspiring to hear their enthusiasm and determination to grow and develop within idverde.

Apprentice, Adam Jones, commented; ‘’It was great to meet people in other parts of the company. It really opened my eyes to what they’re doing in their day to day.’’

Apprentice, Aaron Hall, said; ‘’I really enjoyed it and it was nice to meet everyone and hear about other parts of idverde. I was a bit nervous before the event because I get anxious meeting new people and having to talk in front of them about myself. But I found it easy to open up once I met everyone.’’

The event ended with Kristian issuing certificates to the attendees, as well as a personal letter to each of them. He congratulated them on their achievements and thanked them for their hard work and dedication. He also spoke about the People Agenda – our commitment to support our people and to provide them with a variety of opportunities so that they can achieve their full potential.

Elaine Callaghan, Head of Learning & Development, said; ‘’It was great to be able to celebrate our people who had achieved an apprenticeship in 2023, and even more so to do it at the start of apprenticeship week! It takes time, commitment and resilience to undertake an apprenticeship – but so worth it! Certainly when you listen to people who feel they have gained so much from it, not necessarily just new found knowledge and skills but also a wider sense of achievement and accomplishment with an appetite to do more and to continue that learning experience. I genuinely do wish all of them a successful career and to never stop learning as per one of the quotes shared on the day: ‘Develop a passion for learning, if you do, you will never cease to grow’ By Anthony J D’Angelo.’’

Aaron Webster, Head of Talent, commented; “Last week’s amazing event at idverde, honouring our 2023 apprentice graduates during National Apprentice Week, truly highlighted the transformative journey of mentorship, the blossoming of talent, and the boundless potential awaiting those who embrace learning and dedication. To our horticultural apprentices, the gardeners of tomorrow’s dreams, I raise my trowel in salute. And to those in our traffic management division, may your journey be as smooth as the roads you steward, paving the way for an extraordinary career ahead.”

We would like to thank all who attended the event, it was a fantastic day of celebration, learning, and networking. We are very proud of our apprentices and we look forward to seeing them flourish and succeed at idverde.