Competing in a six-hour garden building event which involved working from a prescribed landscape plan, two Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Horticulture students took gold in the provincial Skills Canada—Skills BC—competition, held April 17 in Abbotsford.
As part of the challenge, fourth-year student Kevin O’Connor, enrolled in KPU’s Landscape Apprenticeship Program, and first-year student Jason Thompson, enrolled in KPU’s Turf Management Diploma Program, installed paving stones, basalt stone walls, a water feature, a flag stone pathway and an extensive planting system. Throughout the competition, the students were judged on teamwork, safe work practices, communications skills, adherence to industry practices, attention to detail and the final result.
“I was very impressed with the way in which Kevin and Jason represented Kwantlen,” said Rob Welsh, KPU School of Horticultural Instructional Associate and Skills Competition Coach and Sponsor. “Both students worked extremely well as a team and their success is being awarded the well-deserved gold medal.”
Skills BC hosts 13 regional and one provincial competition each year, aimed at celebrating and rewarding students for excellence in their mastery of skilled trade and technology capabilities.
This is O’Connor’s second time competing at Skills BC and his second gold medal. He’ll join Thompson at the National Skills competition, taking place June 5-8 in Vancouver.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 18,000 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.