The final 8 competitors revealed for the Worldskills UK Landscape Gardening competition!
Horticultural students and apprentices from across the nation have taken part in two knockout heats, over the past few months both run by the APL. The first at Reaseheath College, and the more recent hosted by sponsor Makita UK Ltd in May.
Kevin Brannigan of Makita UK spoke to us about why they see involvement with WorldSkills UK as important. “We’ve been historically involved for a few years now, and have always thought it’s a great way for young people in the industry to progress. We’ve been working closely with the APL a lot more recently, not just as an organisation but with the members as well and are pleased to be supporting the competition again.”
Our final 12 entrants were tested on their timber and brickwork in a timed session and were marked on the quality of their work and attention to detail by judges Jody Lidgard and Simon Abbott, with verification from Phil Tremayne (APL National Account Manager).
The semi-final of the WorldSkills UK Landscape Gardening competition will once again take place at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show (22-26 July) and we are thrilled to announce the final 8 competitors.
The scores from each heat were all of a high standard, but the 8 highest scoring students, progressing to the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park for the national Semi-Final, are:
- Will Burberry, Gardenscapes
- Mark Chapelhow, Wildroof Landscapes
- Anthony Doran, The Landscape Co.
- India Hill, Reaseheath College
- Aaron Quin, Greenmount Campus, CAFRE
- Christopher Shore, Reaseheath College
- Noel Taggart, Greenmount Campus, CAFRE
- Finin Talbo, Reaseheath College
Before announcing the results, we spoke to our final 8, to see how they were feeling about the challenges ahead.
Mark, Wildroof Landscape apprentice, says “I’m really looking forward to it all. Being judged by experts puts your skills to the test and the support from my team at work is amazing.”
India, Reaseheath College, told us she was feeling confident and ready for the competition. “I’m so excited to have even made it this far! I’m over the moon and can’t wait to get stuck into doing a whole garden by myself.”
Jason Hinks, the Landscape instructor at Reaseheath, is fully supportive of his students having been involved for a few years now. “It’s about the students – what they benefit, the training sessions, the introduction of choosing this path as a career and what that will entail.”
We also asked the Greenmount students if they felt there was even more pressure, as all the medal spots from the 2014 final were taken by fellow CAFRE students. “Definitely!” Aaron told us, “but I think we’re all trying to see the whole journey, not just focusing on the medal. Hopefully that will relax us a little!”
The 8 competitors will certainly be facing a challenge, having eighteen hours over three days to individually build a full 6m x 2m garden. This year’s national final will be held at The Skills Show at the NEC Birmingham in November.