By Angus Hoy
Wednesday 14 Nov 2012 16:09:00
Browse all History articles

An apprentice at a historic Middlesbrough park has been recognised at the finals of a national competition.

Caspar Scallen was narrowly pipped to the top spot in the Horticulture Apprentice of the Year Award 2012.

The 23-year-old Stewart Park apprentice was one of five national finalists chosen from entries from more than 40 local authorities in the awards run by the Association for Public Service Excellence.

The aim of the awards is to give recognition to future tradespeople and to local authorities which continue to invest in and provide first class training and employment initiatives in modern apprenticeship schemes.

The winners in the Environmental Services Horticulture Apprentice of the Year Awards 2012 were announced at an event in Leicester, on Wednesday evening (November 7).

APSE Chief Executive  Paul O’Brien said: “Apprentices like Caspar show other young people that no matter what happens when you leave school it is never too late to learn a valuable skill.

“In horticulture Caspar has been given the chance to learn not only skills that will help his own future employment but skills that help make our public realms more enjoyable and sustainable public spaces.

“Other councils can take a leaf from Middlesbrough’s book in showing the real benefits of apprenticeship schemes that not only help younger people but help the growth of skills and jobs within local economies.”

Councillor Brenda Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Public Health and Sport, said: “This is wonderful news, but it doesn’t come as a surprise because Caspar is an outstanding person.

“Just last week I was delighted to pass on a hugely complimentary email about him, and I am aware of a number of positive comments from visitors to Stewart Park who have been helped by him.

“Other staff and managers also speak highly of his interest and achievements.”

Councillor Tom Mawston, Chairman of the Friends of Stewart Park, said: “This is a fantastic achievement of which Caspar and those who work with him can be rightly proud.

“After the recent park restoration project, developing quality staff who provide a quality service is very important to the long-term management of the park.

“Caspar is a hard worker who deals well with the public and colleagues, and he is making a major contribution to ensuring Stewart Park remains one of the best Green Flag-accredited parks in the North East.”

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