APL WorldSkills 2017

The Worldskills UK Landscaping competition, run by the Association of Professional Landscapers is a great opportunity for trainee landscapers to showcase their skills across a number of technical skill areas alongside planning and material management competing to be the best in the UK.

The competitors who qualify for the November 2017 Final, to be held at The Skills Show in Birmingham, will need to use what they have learned to individually build elements of a garden that has been pre-designed for them. All of this
under the watchful eye of 100,000+ school children, teachers and parents.

What is the competition about?

This competition requires trainee landscapers to showcase their skills across a number of technical skill areas and planning and material management.

There will be regional heats (3 hours duration), followed by a semi-final that will consist of 3 days of training covering; planting, paving and timber work, run by industry professionals.

The eight competitors who qualify for the 2017 final will need to use what they have learned to individually build elements of a garden that has been pre-designed for them. The garden may be built above or in-ground and include timber construction, walls, water features, paving, varying levels, turf and planting.

Entrants should be working towards or have recently achieved an appropriate Level 2/Level 3 S/NVQ qualification. If they are entering from employment, they should have a total of no more than 2 years industry experience. There are no age restrictions for WorldSkills UK.

This years semi-finalists!

Our semi-finalists this year are:

The heats will test competitors on various hard landscaping techniques including; surveying, block laying and building arches.

This year's heats will take place at:
Pershore & Wiltshire College - 12th May
CAFRE - 17th May
Gardening Scotland - 2nd June
Myerscough College - 6th June
Reaseheath College - 7th June

Semi-Final

At the semi-final, entrants will be expected to demonstrate their skills on a variety of pre-planned pieces that may form a small garden. They will certainly be tested on block paving, timberwork, planting and brickwork.  Having practiced the various basic skills outlined, we are looking to take the 8 highest scores through to the next stage of the competition.

We are pleased to announce the 11 competitors that have qualified through to the APL WorldSkills semi-final which will take place at Myerscough College in August this year are:

  • Ryan Bell, Myerscough College
  • Thomas Cartledge, Reaseheath College
  • Josh Dow, Scotland's Rural Colleges
  • Jake Hackett, Warwickshire College
  • Jordan Knox, College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise
  • Adam McGarry, Wiltshire College
  • Daniel McGeoghegan, Myerscough College
  • Liisi Selmet, Reaseheath College
  • Joshua Slater, Reaseheath College
  • Samuel Taylor, Myerscough College
  • Kelvin White, Reaseheath College

The big one... the final!

The WorldSkills UK final will take place at the NEC Birmingham in November. The Final will provide the opportunity for the eight finalists to build all elements of a garden, with some extra complexity added to the design.

Jacob Botting of Myerscough College, APL WorldSkills winner 2016
Jacob Botting, APL WorldSkills winner 2016

Approximately 90,000 members of the public, press, royalty, celebrities and government ministers attend over the three day event, along with Primary Schools, Colleges and Professionals, so competitors must be prepared for distractions.

Entrants will have approximately 16 hours over a three day period to complete the build project (Official timings to be confirmed nearer the event).

Jacob Botting of Myerscough College became the ‘Best in the UK’ in landscaping after winning gold at the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) WorldSkills UK Final 2016. Jacob  spoke to us before he was announced the winner, he said “The competition has been stressful but thoroughly enjoyable, I would be absolutely ecstatic if I won!"