Having battled through the WorldSkills UK National Qualifiers, eight skilled young apprentices and students have made it through to the final showdown in front of 70,000 spectators at The Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham (Nov 16-18).

This years’ APL WorldSkills UK semi-final saw a bit of a change from the past two years with the event moving away from RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, and having more of a focus on the training and development of the competitors.

Over the three days (21-24 August) the nine semi-finalists had tasks to complete including paving, decking, walling and plant ident, procurement and working to a client’s brief.

All the semi-finalists impressed the judges, but we are pleased to announce the eight competitors progressing to the finals are:

  • Ryan Bell
  • Thomas Cartledge
  • Josh Dow
  • Jake Hackett
  • Adam McGarry
  • Daniel McGeoghegan
  • Samuel Taylor
  • Kelvin White

The eventual victor will be the UK’s No.1 – and could be eligible for selection to represent the nation at WorldSkills, the largest international skills competition, in 2019 in Kazan, Russia.

A massive thank you to all of our APL WorldSkills UK sponsors Green-Tech, J. A. Jones, Makita and Marshalls. Without them, the competition would not be able to happen.

Mike Vickers of J. A. Jones 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.”

David Jessop of Marshalls said, “It is imperative that we encourage new blood into the landscape industry and WorldSkills is a fantastic platform for talented young landscapers to showcase their skills. Marshalls is delighted to support WorldSkills once again and we congratulate all the semi-finalists and look forward to a hotly contested final in November.”

Richard Kay, Chairman at Green-tech, said, “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.”

Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager at Makita, said, “Makita products cover both hard & soft landscaping trades so the industry is very important to us. We all know how difficult it can be for the younger generation to get support when starting off so we feel it is important to help out – we were all there once. It is important that apprentices learn about quality, which applies to both learning best practice in relation to the skills required, but also in having the right tools to do the job. We think WorldSkills UK is extremely important & deserves greater recognition from both the education sector & within the industry.”

The finalists will be competing at the Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham, taking place from 16-18 November 2017. To register to come along and see the final competition for yourself, visit https://www.worldskillsuk.org/the-skills-show/book-the-skills-show

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