Florists to compete at Ellerslie to represent NZ

New Zealand’s best apprentice florists will compete at next month’s Ellerslie International Flower Show for the chance to represent New Zealand at the 2011 WorldSkills International Floristry Competition in London.

Ten competitors will each make 15 floral designs during the five days of the Show demonstrating their skills in creativity and design to the thousands of Ellerslie Show visitors who are invited to watch the designs being created in the Floral Art Marquee.

Two of the organisers Joy and Garry Knight say the competition is important in helping to promote world class standards of excellence and skills within the industry.

Run by Florists New Zealand Incorporated (FLONZI), the apprentices will each day be given a selection of flowers, vases and instructions to create three designs which will be sold at the Canterbury Fields retail stand.

“The contestants will create a variety of floral designs, including wired pieces, bouquets, body adornments and room decorations. The judges will be looking for creativity, as well as the use of elements, techniques, composition, colour, construction and suitability of the design for the purpose.”

New Zealand competed at its first WorldSkills floristry event in Calgary last year, young Wellington florist Caitlin Thorburn being placed 14th out the 51 competitors.

The Knights say Caitlin’s placing was outstanding as the competition at this event is extremely tough: “WorldSkills is the Olympic Games for apprentices”.

WorldSkills is the biggest skills competition in the world, being held every two years. It sets world class standards in more than 40 skills categories ranging from cabinet making, plumbing and cooking to web design, hairdressing and landscape gardening. Over four days competitors from the 51 member nations compete in some of their toughest events in to win gold, silver and bronze medals.

The winners from this year’s Ellerslie International Flower Show will again compete at next year’s Show to find the best competitor to represent New Zealand in 2011.

Ellerslie International Flower Show Exhibition Manager Kate Hillier says having the WorldSkills event at Ellerslie will be fantastic for visitors to the Show as they will be able to watch some of the best young talent in New Zealand floristry showcase their skills.

“Floral art is highly competitive, as seen in the high number of exhibits at this year’s Show, and each year the standard of design work just gets better and better.

“Visitors to Ellerslie are in for a real treat with the quality of floral art exhibits and the extra drawcard of the WorldSkills event.”

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