Three Myerscough College learners have been making their final preparations ahead the final of the 2017 Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) WorldSkills Landscape Gardening Competition.
Ryan Bell, Daniel McGeoghegan and Samuel Taylor all made it through their semi-final earlier this year, where they had to take part in industry led training sessions, alongside building test pieces to showcase their skills, focusing on the latest developments and innovations in the industry. They were given tasks to complete including paving, decking, walling and plant identification, procurement and working to a client’s brief.
After all three impressed the judges they now go through to the national final, which is once again to be held at The Skills Show at the NEC Birmingham this week. The winner of the UK finals could be eligible for selection to represent the nation at WorldSkills, the largest international skills competition, in 2019 in Kazan, Russia.
Nick Atkinson, Myerscough College’s Assistant Head of Apprenticeships and Skills, said: “It was a great honour for Myerscough to host the semi-finals of such a prestigious competition and we are delighted Ryan, Daniel and Sam have all represented the College extremely well so far.
‘’This is a competition we have done well in previously with one of our learners, Jacob Botting, winning a Gold Medal last year.’’
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.’’
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by Dave Salmon