There may be high hopes for our football teams in Euro 2016 this summer but for CAFRE landscape gardener Adam Ferguson his eye is on one goal only – to win a Gold at the EuroSkills competition in Gothenburg.
Ballymena-man Adam, a Foundation Degree student at CAFRE’s Greenmount Campus, is taking part in the international WorldSkills Landscape Gardening and Floristry event which will see the most talented young people from more than 30 European countries come together to compete in over 35 different skill areas, ranging from engineering and construction through to creative and hospitality.
Paul Mooney, Head of Horticulture Education Branch at Greenmount, said: “I’m delighted to see how participating in the Worldskills competitions has inspired our students to give of their best. Adam Ferguson was selected following his excellent performance in the National Finals of the WorldSkills UK Competitions, held last autumn in the NEC, Birmingham.
“He has excelled on the Extended Diploma in Horticulture course here and will graduate with his Foundation Degree next month. He has earned his place on Squad UK and I know he will be a worthy ambassador when he competes at EuroSkills Gothenburg 2016.”
Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “Our findings have shown that skills competitions enable apprentices to develop and build on the skills that businesses are crying out for. By entering international competitions, we can benchmark the employability skills of our students with those from the rest of Europe, ensuring more young people are being equipped with the right skills to help UK businesses better compete globally.”
A recent survey found that over 95% of competitors believed their technical and employability skills had improved as a result of taking part in skills competitions, while over 80% felt competing had increased their confidence, team working, time management and ability to work under pressure.
Adam is looking forward to competing at EuroSkills in December. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my involvement with the landscape gardening competitions and my initial success gave me the confidence and contacts to gain valuable work experience with a leading company in the Netherlands last summer,” he said.
“Success in Worldskills has brought other opportunities to build a great CV. I’m also currently finishing my Foundation Degree at Greenmount, helping construct a show garden for Bloom in the Park in Dublin and planning a visit to RHS Chelsea.”
Adam, along with other members of Team UK will now go on to complete an intensive training programme, supported by their trainers, employers and training providers.
The competitors who take part in EuroSkills this year will also go onto compete for a place in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills, the largest international skills competition, which takes place every two years. The next WorldSkills Competition will take place in Abu Dhabi from 14 to 19 October, 2017.
Notes to editors:
- Charity WorldSkills UK champions world-class apprenticeships and technical skills by engaging young people in skills competitions, delivering experiential careers events, role modelling to challenge stereotypes and using our research to support the apprenticeship agenda. For further information visit: www.worldskillsuk.org
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