Ballymena landscape gardener Adam Ferguson has been invited to China to show off his world-class gardening skills.
The former CAFRE student, who is also due to compete in the Worldskills finals in Abu Dhabi in October, will travel to Jiangsu region on Sunday to take part in a four-day international landscaping event.
The 21-year-old said he was delighted to be invited to train and compete against fellow landscape gardeners in China.
“I’m very excited to be travelling to China to train and compete against some of their best young landscape gardeners. We met earlier this year during a competition in Sweden and after we won a medal they invited us over to compete against each other and no doubt learn from each other. But I don’t want to give away too many of my winning secrets,” Adam said.
In May, Adam beat off thousands of fellow students and apprentices to win one of only two places on Team UK to compete in the final of the WorldSkills Landscape Gardening Competition.
“This 10-day trip will allow us to polish our skills ahead of the finals in Abu Dhabi, gain experience using different tools, tackle new garden designs and get used to working in a different time zone and in a hotter climate. All good preparation for the world finals. I’m also looking forward to doing a bit of sightseeing including visiting the Great Wall of China,” he added.
CAFRE tutor and former Team UK training manager, Colin McKnight said he was very proud of Adam being selected for the trip to China.
“I taught Adam when he studied on our Horticulture courses at Greenmount, including his Foundation Degree, so it’s very rewarding to see all his hard work pay off. He is a fabulous ambassador for the college and his profession.
“Chinese gardens are traditionally designed for pleasure and reflection so it will be interesting to see what materials the team will be working with whilst away.
“I also hope Adam’s success will encourage other young people to consider horticulture as a career and get their training at CAFRE. The minimum requirement for our Extended Diploma is 4 GCSEs including English and Maths or you can consider the Foundation Degree if you have A levels,” Colin added.
Worldskills competitions are held around the world to showcase and inspire world-class excellence in skills and introduce youth to a variety of careers and professions.
The finals are held every two years when over a thousand competitors, from more than 70 countries, gather for four days of competition in some 35 different skill areas, ranging from engineering and construction through to creative arts, hospitality, floristry and landscape gardening.
Notes to editors:
- WorldSkills UK, which helps young people ‘Go Further, Faster’, is spearheading the use of competition in the workplace, training centres, schools and colleges to inspire the next generation and fill the skills gap.
- The competition will be held in Abu Dhabi in October 2017.
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