• Caption: Our WorldSkills UK landscaping competitors are joined by Phil Tremayne and Steve Williams

Five young landscapers began their WorldSkills UK journey at a college heat held on campus.

Level 3 Diploma students Joshua Slater, Tom Cartledge, Kelvin White, Liisi Selmet and Gemma Price demonstrated their technical skills in block paving, decking construction and plant knowledge.

The competition was run in partnership with the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) – an accrediting body for the best in domestic landscaping – and supported by leading companies. The students had to complete tasks in timed sessions and were marked to exacting standards on the quality of their work and attention to detail.

We have since heard that four candidates – Joshua, Tom, Kelvin and Liisi – have qualified for the northern landscaping semi finals, to be held over three days at Myerscough College in August. The highest scoring competitors from this round will go through to the WorldSkills UK finals at The Skills Show, NEC Birmingham, in November.

WorldSkills UK feeds into the Olympic-styled Worlds Skills final, held every two years to showcase the world’s top young talent in vocational industries.

The students, who were competing for the first time, have received extra training from Course Manager Steve Williams, himself a former WorldSkills UK  national finalist.

APL National Business Manager Phil Tremayne, who judged the competition, said: “These qualifying rounds are a great introduction to the global WorldSkills competition and are a fantastic experience for students, adding to both their technical and life skills. Students who progress through WorldSkills UK can benefit from training from some of the best people in the industry.

“This is a collaborative competition supported by industry, colleges and training providers. Our aim is to increase the level of talent and skills entering the industry and we are delighted that Reaseheath continues to be such a major player.”

  • Last year Aaron Byrne, a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture student, won bronze in the Worldskills UK national landscaping finals while former Level 3 student Matt Beesley brought home a silver medal for landscaping from the 2015 global WorldSkills final in Brazil
  • Steve Williams won a silver medal at the WorldSkills UK national finals while a Reaseheath student and went on to receive a travel bursary which he used to travel the gardens of Japan and to visit the WorldSkills 2007 finals which were being held there
  • Companies which support WorldSkills UK include Makita (power tools), Marshalls (block paving), Green-tech Ltd (landscaping materials) and J A Jones and Sons (plant nursery)