CAFRE graduate ‘blossoms’ into potential world beater

Date published: 16 January 2020

A graduate of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (CAFRE) has been selected to take part in a prestigious competition which could see her jet off to Shanghai next year.

Clara Agnew gained her Levels 2 and 3 diplomas in Floristry from CAFRE’s Greenmount Campus between 2017-19 and has now been selected for the WorldSkills UK Talent Programme known as Squad UK.

The working florist from Hamiltonsbawn in Co Armagh said: “I am over the moon to be getting this opportunity to be part of Squad UK. And, I’m really excited to start my WorldSkills training so I can further develop my floristry skills and techniques, which will not alone increase my competition chances but also be invaluable to me as a professional florist.”

Clara entered the competition last year whilst completing her Level 3 qualification at the Greenmount Campus. After placing highly in local heats she performed excellently at an intensive three-day competition in Birmingham in November winning her a place on Squad UK.

Eighteen months further training has now begun and will see Clara compete against her fellow Squad UK members for a place at Euro Skills 2020 which will take place in Graz, Austria.

From here a single highly skilled and talented UK florist will travel to the WorldSkills competition in Shanghai in 2121.

While Clara is the first ever CAFRE florist to reach this stage of the WorldSkills competition she the latest in a long line of horticultural graduates from the college to have represented the UK across the globe in the WorldSkills Landscape Gardening element of the competition. 

In a remarkable achievement, five CAFRE trained students have been part of the UK two person Landscape Gardening Team who have been in the last five finals. 

Clara Agnew is convinced that her success and the achievements of former students in WorldSkills competitions has been as a result of the work and quality of the teaching at the college.

“My tutors at CAFRE in Greenmount Campus have been a great support and have always encouraged me to be the best I could. I really appreciate this.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The college of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) offers a range of FT and Part time courses in Horticulture, Landscaping, Sportsturf Management and Floristry at Greenmount Campus in Antrim, details of which can be found on the CAFRE website.
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