Bridgwater & Taunton College had the honour of hosting one of 6 regional heats of the WorldSkills UK Floristry Competition recently. 16 competitors from five colleges within the South West and Wales spent the day producing a range of designs that were judged by the National Guild of Judges affiliated to the British Florist Association.
High scorers at the regional heats aim to be invited to the National finals at the NEC Birmingham in November. From there, the overall winner goes on to receive further training and competes in the World final representing the whole of the UK. The competition is an amazing opportunity towards fast tracking a career within the industry.
Course Leaders Ruby Cresswell and Jacqui Weaver were tasked with organising this prestigious event and were sworn to secrecy on the range of flowers and foliage the competitors would be given to work with on the day. There is also a strict ban on pictures being posted on social media until all of the heats have been completed adding to the anticipation of the event.
The competitors were understandably nervous at the start of the day but everyone rose to the occasion and produced some outstanding designs. After a long day the results were announced and participation certificates were awarded by Jason Gunningham, Acting Assistant Principal of Business Land Based & Sports, before the final results were announced by the Judges.
First place went to Charlotte Dawe from the Academy of Floral Art Devon, whilst second and third place went to Laura Williams and Amy Shakeshaft, both from Bridgwater & Taunton College. Laura and Amy currently study Level 3 Floristry at the Yeovil Centre and are both set to progress onto the Level 4 Higher Diploma at the Cannington Centre. There will be a few tense weeks ahead until they hear if they have made it through to the National finals.
Laura Williams said:
“I still can't believe it really. I've worked so hard and not won through before this event, I really wasn't expecting it. I thought everyone did so well and I’m delighted that Amy had such a great result too”.
Bridgwater & Taunton College offers a range opportunities to learn Floristry, from leisure courses through to a Level 3 Diploma. For more information please visit the course pages of the website.