British landscapers win silver in Brazil

Jonathan Gill and Matthew Beesley have won silver in the World Skills landscape gardening competition.

Jonathan Gill
Jonathan Gill

A former Reaseheath College student, Beesley is now at Beesley Landscapes. Gill is from Northern Ireland’s College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise and Jonathan Gill Landscapes.

Team UK won three gold, three silver, two bronze medals and 25 medallions of excellence across all disciplines.

Following five days of competition against almost 1,000 of the world’s most skilled young people, the nation’s team of talented apprentices and learners will return from WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 with a haul of eight medals and 25 medallions, including three golds. 

Taking place every two years since its inception in 1950, WorldSkills is the world’s largest skills competition, which is held around the globe to celebrate skills and share best practice between industries and countries.  Staged from 11-16 August 2015, WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 celebrated the best of the best in skills ranging from web design and aircraft maintenance to hairdressing and visual merchandising.

After four days of intense competition, Team UK, whose members are all aged 18 – 25, won eight medals.

Both competed in 2012 in the WorldSkills UK competition, and have built on their experience since to bring to Sao Paulo this year. 


Beesley, who now employs his dad part-time "in the backroom" of his Beesley’s Landscapes business, said his parents are the ones who helped allow him to remain a success both in business and in competition.


"My mum and dad don’t half dig out for me. They work so hard behind the scenes. They don’t really get recognised for what they do.


"I tend to get all the limelight, but behind the scenes they are working so hard to keep the business running while I’m off here, there and everywhere trying to compete for this competition, so credit where it’s due — to them."


This years’ finalists for the APL WorldSkills competition, progressing to the NEC for the national final, are:

  • Will Burberry, Gardenscapes
  • Mark Chapelhow, Wildroof Landscapes
  • Anthony Doran, The Landscape Co.
  • Christopher Shore, Reaseheath College
  • Noel Taggart Greenmount Campus, CAFRE
  • Aaron Quin, Greenmount Campus, CAFRE


The final of the WorldSkills UK Landscape Gardening competition will once again take place at the Birmingham NEC on 19 - 21 November.

In a letter to each individual competitor, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Team UK demonstrates how the best of our apprentices and vocational learners can compete at the highest international level.  The skills they were competing in are vital for the long-term success of our economy.  It is also important to remember that they are role models for the next generation of apprentices and vocational learners, who will be inspired by the team’s achievements in Brazil."

Some 40 individuals were selected to compete as Team UK at WorldSkills São Paulo in 37 skills, after a training programme working with individually dedicated training managers, which lasted up to two years.

Skills minister Nick Boles said: "Congratulations to Team UK on its impressive medal tally and achievement at WorldSkills São Paulo. Their hard work shows how far apprenticeships and professional and technical training can take young people, and the skills they are learning will help drive them towards an exciting and rewarding career."

Carole Stott, chair of Find a Future - which manages the UK’s entry into the international WorldSkills competition - said: "WorldSkills São Paulo gave Team UK the opportunity to showcase the UK"s vocational and further education system on a global stage.  The hard work they have all put in over the last two years to prepare for the competition, alongside their committed training managers has really paid off and we are thrilled with the results they have achieved. We urge the nation to join us celebrating the success of Team UK and give them a champions’ welcome on their return."

Selection for the next Team UK, to compete at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi in 2017, will start at The Skills Show 2015, which will take place at the NEC Birmingham from 19 to 21 November 2015. Visit for more information and to book a free ticket to the event.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

This year's Saltex will be looking to build on the success of last year by packing in a multitude of exhibitors and sessions over the two days, Sally Drury reports.



These tidy evergreen trees are not just for Christmas and come in a range of shapes and sizes, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Tree lifting, moving  and planting

Tree lifting, moving and planting

Successful relocations can see even big trees flourish while costing less than buying new stock, says Sally Drury.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Landscape Contracts & Tenders

Industry Data

New: We have pooled the wealth of data from the past six months' worth of Landscape Project Leads to create an exclusive report for subscribers looking at the key development trends, clients and locations for 2016.