For 19 year old Jonathan Briggs from Shotton Colliery in Durham, everything is coming up roses. As well as scooping an award for his positive attitude, Jonathan is thriving in his chosen field – as a groundsman.
Employed by Durham University, Jonathan first started his job via an Apprenticeship in Grounds Maintenance, funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) North East.
Working as part of a team of five people, Jonathan is involved in keeping the University grounds in tip top condition. This means having a good understanding of horticulture as well as landscape gardening.
His day-to-day duties include everything from grass cutting, strimming and weeding through to hedge cutting, pruning and planting out.
“I was doing some work experience at a local council through an Entry to Employment course. This involved some groundwork and gave me a taste for what I’m doing now,” said Jonathan.
“I started looking for a permanent job so that I could start work once I’d finished my course. I also knew that I wanted to continue training while I was working. I saw an advert for the Apprenticeship at Durham University and my Dad persuaded me to go for it.
“Now I’ve got a good job, I’m earning money and I’ve increased my skills, qualifications and responsibilities at the same time”