A Wiltshire College & University Centre student is celebrating after winning a silver medal at one of the world’s most prestigious skills competitions.
Jamie Franklin said it was still sinking in at being number two in the whole of the UK for Landscape Gardening after impressing judges with his show garden at the WorldSkills UK Live final, but that he was very proud of his achievement!
The 18-year-old from East Chisenbury, said: “I can’t quite believe it!
“WorldSkills UK was a fantastic experience and although I was really nervous at the start, once I got going, I didn’t really notice all the people around me.
“I was really pleased with my garden at the end and was so shocked when they announced my name as one of the winners – it’s a great feeling!”
WorldSkills UK Live, which took place at the NEC in Birmingham and attracted more than 80,000 young people, was the backdrop for the all-important national finals of WorldSkills UKs competitions.
More than 500 students and apprentices competed in more than 70 different disciplines battling to be the best in the UK.
Jamie was one of eight finalists, all of whom had 16.5 hours to build their gardens and showcase their skills in elements such as paving and carpentry as well as plant identification. Each garden had to include timber planters, decking, a trellis, flower border and water feature.
At the end of day one of the competition, Jamie, who completed his Level 2 in Horticulture at the Lackham campus in June, was slightly behind schedule but worked hard to get back on track and by the end, only he and one other competitor completed the task.
This year in addition to constructing and landscaping their gardens, each finalist also had to work out the measurements they would need for materials. They also have to complete a plant identification task detailing both the Latin and common names.
Horticulture lecturer Chris Roberts was with Jamie throughout the competition and said he was extremely proud of his achievement.
Chris said: “Jamie winning silver was an amazing end to a successful few days.
“He worked extremely hard to complete on time and the finish on his garden was outstanding.”
During the competition the landscaping finalists were delighted to meet Mark Gregory, who won Gold in the Show Gardens category at Chelsea Flower Show 2019 and was at the competition to showcase landscaping as a career.
Winning a silver medal means Jamie has now been invited to RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the NEC in Birmingham next year to build another show garden.
For more information on our full and part-time horticulture courses at Lackham, visit http://bit.ly/2OPAJbl.