Two Moreton Morrell College floristry students will be competing at the prestigious WorldSkills UK national finals this week at the The Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham
Claire Hammond and Emily Deacon will compete over two days in front of over 75,000 people at The Skills Show, which takes place from 19 – 21 November 2015 at the NEC Birmingham. Over 4,000 people registered to take part in this year’s WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions. Those competing at this year’s The Skills Show have won their places following a fiercely competitive round of over 400 heats that have taken place across the country. The finalists will compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in a range of industries from Engineering through to Creative and Professional Services which includes floristry.
Claire and Emily secured a place in the WorldSkills UK Skills Competition Finals after coming first and second in the regional floristry heats which took place earlier this year.
Claire, who runs her own business, Flowers on the Green in Claverdon, said “After having my children I decided I didn’t want to go back to my original day job as a press officer so I got involved with the running of the village community shop in Claverdon. I had worked in a florist when I was a teenager and agreed to provide them with flowers on a weekly basis and then thought hang on, why don’t I do this properly, so I promptly signed up for part time floristry course at Moreton Morrell when my youngest went to school.
“I was really proud of myself when I won the regional competition, it was a huge confidence boost. It was a real test to work with unseen materials under time restrictions and I was delighted when I won.”
Talking about the upcoming final at the NEC , Claire said, “We will be asked to make 5 designs over 2 days so I’m nervous – my worst fear is that my mind goes blank or that I run out of time and I can’t complete a design.
“Jane and the tutors at Moreton Morrell have more than equipped us with the knowledge and skills to perform well in competitions. They teach to a very high standard, stretching us all the time, whilst encouraging, supporting and believing in us all.”
Emily, who lives in Gloucester, said, “I had so many emotions when I got my place in the final! Thrilled, excited, nervous and determined to get the most out of the experience. Such an amazing opportunity to show what I can do, it will be a great experience, and one I want to grasp with both hands.
“Most of all I will be focused to do my self justice and show all what I can do, and further enhance my floristry style and reputation. It’s such a fabulous opportunity I really want to make the most of it.
“Our tutor Jane has been amazing, if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have even known about the competition and she has been giving us lots of tips and advice for the weekend as we have been preparing.”
Claire and Emily have been in training for the WorldSkills UK Skills Competition Finals supported by Jane Benefield, floristry lecturer at Moreton Morrell College. She said, “I’m immensely proud of Claire and Emily – it’s wonderful to have one student in the final, but two is fantastic! I know they have the talent and creativity, but it’s always great to get that recognition from external judges.
“Both Claire and Emily are a great example to florists out there, studying at the same time as working, so they can apply the skills they have learned directly in the business environment. I’d encourage any florists out there to follow their example and make the time to do more training so they can keep their skills up-to-date in this competitive industry.
“The whole college is behind them and we wish them the very best of luck in the competition.”
The floristry competition is managed by the British Floristry Association and several of Jane’s floristry students from Moreton Morrell College are also attending The Skills Show to help out behind the scenes.
WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions, part of Find a Future, inspire young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level. Through competition activity, the UK is able to share best practise in apprenticeships and technical and professional teaching, raising standards across the nation.
Carole Stott, Chair, Find a Future, which manages the WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions said: “I want to wish Claire and Emily the best of luck as they prepare to compete in the WorldSkills UK Skills Competition Finals at The Skills Show.
“Skills Competitions showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through high quality training. Through Skills Competitions and The Skills Show we want to provide every young person with the chance to unlock their potential and get excited about the world of work.”
Moreton Morrell College offers a range of floristry course. For more information call 0300 456 0049 or go to www.warwickshire.ac.uk/courses.