Myerscough College will play host to the semi-final of a prestigious national landscaping competition next month.
Landscapers of the future will take part in the 2017 APL WorldSkills event in August, after demonstrating their skills over the past three months at a series of regional heats for the WorldSkills UK Landscape Gardening competition. Horticultural students and apprentices from across the nation took part in the knock-out heats which were run by the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL).
Eleven competitors have made it through to the semi-final, including three Myerscough learners - Ryan Bell, Daniel McGeoghegan, and Samuel Taylor.
The competitors had three tasks to complete at the heats. These were completed over the course of a day in timed sessions and were marked on the quality of their work, attention to detail and work practice including health and safety by an experienced APL representative. Tasks included building a decked timber frame within two hours, followed by a block paving exercise to specification, finishing off with the introduction of a plant identification test where competitors were asked to name the genus and the species of 20 plants selected from a catalogue of 60 plants. All marked against some very exact scoring sheets and where appropriate millimetre tolerances.
This year the semi-final is over three days will see the group take part in industry led training sessions alongside building test pieces. The test pieces will directly assess the competitors on what they have been taught, which will focus on the latest developments and innovations in the industry.
The very best will then go through to the national final, which is once again be held at The Skills Show at the NEC Birmingham, from the 15—18th of November.
Last year a Myerscough College learner was named the best in the UK after winning gold in the same competition. Jacob Botting beat off stiff competition from the other finalists from across the country to be named ‘Best in the UK’ and land a coveted gold medal.
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by Dave Salmon