Two days of showcasing professional floristry for the WorldSkills UK Finals was jammed packed with beautiful creations. We had eight competitors who had all competed in the regional heats in the summer to earn their places and they didn’t disappoint. Each competitor has less than 5 years experience in industry. The competition is aimed at enhancing the skills of the Floristry workforce and the opportunities available to those who strive to be the best at their craft.
Together with other skill sectors, Floristry was hosted at Trafford College, Altrincham over 2 days on 16th and 17th November.
The competitors had their morning briefing and then moved into their booths for the 2 hours of prep time allocated to them, during this time they condition their flowers, check their sundries, split their flowers into buckets and start to decide what materials they would like to use for each task. They are allowed to sketch during this time and the technical judging team check their personal toolboxes to ensure that they only have the competition tool box items in their booths. Each competitor knows Task 1, 2 and 3 in advance and once the 2 hours is up the practical challenge begins!
Theme for the competition: The Launch party for a new boutique style hotel
Time: 1.5 hours
Design to be worn, wired.
A design to be worn by the partner of the hotel owner
Time: 2.5 hours
Free standing design, minimum size of 150cm
A large free-standing design, to be displayed in the lobby area of the hotel.
The competitors had 30 minutes to sort their materials in the morning before starting their designs. Day two had three practical tasks so they all needed to be mentally ready as the last two schedules were a surprise. The surprise tasks are designed to challenge the competitors to think fast and manage their time. This sets the competitors in good stead for real life floristry work.
Time: 2 hours
A design to decorate the main entrance door of the hotel.
Task Four: Surprise
Time: 1.5 hours
A necklace to be worn by the owner of the hotel who has an eccentric style
Task Five: Surprise
Time: 1.5 hour
Tied design, Hand tied.
A design to be displayed on a 100 cm tall pedestal within the lobby of the hotel.
The Judges from the UK Floristry Judging Guild consisted of Kathryn Sherwood and Karen Armstrong. Each task is judged separately, after which, the marks are collated and sent through to WorldSkills UK for finals checks before the eagerly awaited medal ceremony.
The WorldSkills UK technical handbook gives full information to competitors including the below marking scheme used to judge the designs.
Thank you to Trafford College, Altrincham as hosts, WorldSkills UK as the event organiser and fablous BFA corporate member Hoek for organising the beautiful quality flowers our competitors used over the 2 day period.
And the Winner is………
Gold Medal: Kirsty Noble from The Floristry School, Sheffield
The medal ceremony was held at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Where all the skill sectors were celebrating together. Simon Stirling from Direct2florist, who sponsored the event heats this year was there to present the awards onstage.
Silver Medal: Edel Michael from CAFRE
Bronze Medal: Emma Rochfort from Moreton Morrell College
Highly Commended: Angela Wake from East Durham College
Well done to all the competitors who worked so hard and made us very proud of these budding industry stars!