Heats have been taking place around the country throughout May and June for the landscapers of the future to compete for their place in the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) WorldSkills Landscape Gardening competition semi-finals.
Taking part were competitors from College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Dundee and Angus College, The Gardenmakers, Myerscough College, Reaseheath College, Warwickshire College and Wiltshire College.
We are pleased to announce the 10 competitors that have qualified through to the APL WorldSkills final national heat which will take place at Myerscough College at the end of July are:
- Matthew Aitken, Dundee and Angus College
- Douglas Beck, Wiltshire College
- Sam Gordon, The Gardenmakers
- Brian Hughes, Greenmount (CAFRE)
- Reece Mckay, Greenmount (CAFRE)
- Matthew Woods, Myerscough College
- Connor Pegler, Warwickshire College (Pershore)
- Alex Rae, Reaseheath College
- William Rhodes, Warwickshire College (Pershore)
- Jon Walsh, Dundee and Angus College
The competitors selected from over 30 shortlisted entrants 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. Tasks included building a decked timber frame within two hours, followed by a block paving exercise to specification, finishing off with a plant identification test. All marked against some very exact scoring sheets and where appropriate millimetre tolerances.
The competitors will go to Myerscough College for the national final heat. This year the three days will see our competitors take part in industry led training sessions alongside building test pieces, including tests on paving, disc cutting, setting out and a plant ident. 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.
This year’s national final will once again be held at WorldSkills UK Live (formerly The Skills Show) at the NEC Birmingham from the 15-17 November.
The APL would like to thank sponsors Ecodek, Makita, Marshals, J A Jones and Landscapeplus for their support of the APL WorldSkills Landscaping competition.