The eight skilled young apprentices and students will now compete on a live landscaping job at the national finals at The Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham in November.
This years’ APL WorldSkills UK semi-final saw a bit of a change from the past two years with the event moving away from RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, and having more of a focus on the training and development of the competitors.
Over three in August, the nine semi-finalists were given tasks to complete including paving, decking, walling and plant identification, procurement and working to a client’s brief.
All the semi-finalists impressed the judges, but the eight who will compete in the finals are:
• Ryan Bell
• Thomas Cartledge
• Josh Dow
• Jake Hackett
• Adam McGarry
• Daniel McGeoghegan
• Samuel Taylor
• Kelvin White
The winner of the UK finials could be eligible for selection to represent the nation at WorldSkills, the largest international skills competition, in 2019 in Kazan, Russia.
Mike Vickers of sponsor J. A. Jones wholesale tree nursery said of the competition, "J. A. Jones supports the APL WorldSkills competitions to help encourage the students to become the industry leaders of the future, by their education and inspiration through plants."
Fellow sponsor David Jessop of Marshalls said encouraging new blood into the landscape industry was imperative. "WorldSkills is a fantastic platform for talented young landscapers to showcase their skills."
Green-tech chairman Richard Kay, another sponsor added: "The APL WorldSkills competitions provide a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of landscaping and inspire future generations in their choice of career. We are delighted to be involved and support the APL with this. I have been very impressed with the standards and quality of work that I have seen so far and am looking forward to the finals."
Matika is also a sponsor. Its marketing manager Kevin Brannigan said it was difficult for the younger generation to get support when starting out
"We think WorldSkills UK is extremely important and deserves greater recognition from both the education sector and within the industry."
To register to see the finals at the Skills Show at the Birmingham NEC, from 16 – 18 of November click here.