A Myerscough College landscaping apprentice has made the national final of the 2016 WorldSkills competition.
First year Level 2 Landscaping Apprentice, Jacob Botting, from Bespoke Outdoor Spaces Ltd, impressed the judges with his build at the annual RHS Tatton Flower Show, where he competed alongside the other finalists from across the country.
Jacob will now go through to the national WorldSkills finals which are held at the Skills Show in November, at the NEC in Birmingham. Jacob is part of the current APL (Association of Professional Landscapers) apprenticeship programme, a sector-leading national training scheme run by the APL and Myerscough College.
Jacob was tested on his skills involving timber, brickwork and planting over an 18 hour period. He was tasked with individually building a full 6m x 2m garden, and was marked on the quality of the work and attention to detail by judges Jody Lidgard, Simon Abbott, and Steve Smith.
A spokesman for WorldSkills said: ‘’The public interest in the competition this year was at an all-time high, with many members of the public requesting coverage on the BBC to enable them to see how the competitors had got on.
‘’The scores from each heat were all of a high standard and the judges and Joe Swift, who came to announce the result to the competitors, said he was impressed with the quality of the gardens and the talent the competitors have shown, especially considering the challenging weather conditions over the event. ‘’
Judge Simon Abbot said: ‘’The guys have all shown amazing skill and dedication this week. Given the weather and the heat, they have all stuck to their plans and adapted accordingly when they needed to. It has been a close run semi-final which makes it more exciting for the final ahead.”
Jacob said: ‘’I’m really excited, and glad to be doing it inside next time! I’m looking forward to getting stuck in at the final.’’
The final of the WorldSkills UK Landscaping competition will once again take place at the Birmingham NEC on 17-19 November.
Meanwhile, Myerscough College apprentices working for Foxcroft Landscapes were awarded gold at RHS Tatton this year for their Nature & Nurture Garden as part of the young designer competition garden at the event.
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by Dave Salmon