Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture student Eliot Johnson, 17, has qualified for the WorldSkillsUK Landscape Gardening national finals.

Eliot, 17, will take on seven other talented young landscapers at WorldSkills UK LIVE, the nation’s largest skills and careers event, at the NEC Birmingham in November.

Eliot is in his second year with us and hopes to run his own landscaping company in the future. As well as achieving one of the top scores in the country at the WorldSkills UK semi finals, he also won the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) award at our Student Awards this summer.

During the three day competition, which attracts thousands of visitors, Eliot will be judged for his technical skills in wall construction, paving, decking and planting and crucially in time management.

He is being coached and will be supported at the competition by Horticulture Lecturer Steve Williams, who is himself a former WorldSkills UK national finalist.

Eliot said: “My first year at Reaseheath more than exceeded my expectations and I’m now looking forward to the national finals. My tutor has been really supportive and I’m having extra training sessions so I feel ready to compete against the best of the best!

“I enjoy the challenge of landscape gardening. There’s always something interesting to learn and I think it’s a great industry for young people.”

Steve, who has been recognised by WorldSkills UK for the valuable work he does to promote the benefits of the organisation’s competitions and training programmes, said: “We view the competitions as an aspirational tool to inspire high achievement among our students, and they benefit hugely from them, both in technical and life skills.

“They leave the experience with increased self-confidence and practical ability, particularly in time appreciation and quality of finish. This is because the tasks they complete are based on industry standards. They also have a great opportunity to showcase their industry specific skills and enthusiasm to prospective employers.”