Ecodek and WorldSkills 2018
This week we feature the 2018 WorldSkills competition, concentrating on the heats for the World Skills Landscaping section of the competition.
Ecodek are a company that foster the development and education of the next generation, and through our membership with the Association of Professional Landscapers (the APL) we have taken the next step to be sponsors for the WorldSkills competition. This week saw the first heats for the 2018 World Skills Landscaping competition at Myerscough College in Lancashire.
The WorldSkills UK Landscaping competition run by the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) is a great opportunity for trainee landscapers to showcase their skills across a number of technical skill areas alongside planning and material management competing to be the best in the UK.
This year is the first year composite materials have been included in the works package for the participating competitors. During the day they were tasked with building a 1.2m2 decking section, using ecodek® Superstiff Bearer and Ecodek® Heritage boards in Welsh Slate.
The competitors have a set time to construct the substructure and decking boards to specific installation instructions – everything needs to be millimetre perfect and all screws aligned. The slightest error will to marks deducted, and each competitor has their mentor ringside desperate to advise their students but unable to at all!
The decking sections are judged and marked accordingly, and in the second session of the day the competitors flip their constructions over, fill them with sand and proceed to lay block paving – and this is where things can get trickier! If the substructure has not been installed true and straight, then the block paving simply will not fit inside the area – I can imagine this can get extremely stressful in a competition environment!
We were very keen to support the APL and WorldSkills, especially as this was the first time composite decking materials have been used. What a fantastic way to introduce the landscapers of the future to get an understanding of such a versatile product; in fact, one competitor was so enamoured with ecodek® he took sample material home with him to show his employers as they do not use composite yet in their projects.
Phil Tremayne, General Manager of the APL said:
This is the first year in the competition that the competitors will be using composite decking and it is great that they have a quality product such as ecodek to work with.
Without the generous sponsors of the World Skills such as Ecodek the competition really wouldn’t go ahead and the APL are very appreciative of the generosity shown.
We wish all this year’s competitors all the very best, and hope to see them not only in the UK finals at the NEC in November, but potentially representing the UK in Russia and building in the Young Landscapers Award at BBC Gardeners’ World Live in June 2019!