Budding floristry apprentices and students win a string of industry awards

Published: 10th November 2022

Apprentices and students have all made their mark in the British Florist Association’s Industry Awards 2022 and FleurEx Awards 2022.

They include Andrea Borrer, a Level 2 apprentice, who won the Institute of Professional Florists’ Floristry Student of the Year Award.

Andrea said: “I was incredibly surprised and honoured to be nominated and then to win the award. To hear my name being called out was surreal.

“The support I have received throughout my apprenticeship has been exceptional. I couldn’t have asked for a better team around me.”

Andrea studies with the College but lives in the North West and is completing her apprenticeship with Bromborough Flowers based on the Wirral.

Andrea explained: “I have worked in care, supporting adults with autism, since I left school. I still love that job but I had also started feeling it was time for a change.

“I felt that my lack of qualifications and experience held me back. I have always loved flowers but never thought I had the creativity. However, I was offered an opportunity to work in Bromborough Flowers’ shop. It was an ideal chance to learn and train in a field that peaked my interest.

“When I started the apprenticeship, we were still in the midst of the pandemic and all learning was taking part via remote learning. Therefore, the location of the training provider being in Sheffield wasn't an issue; it didn't necessarily need to be local.

“Due to my education background and my lack of qualifications I needed to complete English and maths. The functional skills team supported me through Levels 1 and 2 via the remote learning which I am incredibly grateful for.”

Andrea added: “I have really enjoyed doing the apprenticeship and feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such a wealth of experience with Pauline at Bromborough Flowers, and Jo and Abbie at The Floristry School. They have encouraged me and given me confidence when I have doubted my abilities.

“The course has been hard work and I still work a couple of days a week as a carer in a residential home. But it has all been worth it. Deciding to retrain at my age is one of the best decisions that I have made in a long time.

“I would definitely encourage anyone to take up an apprenticeship at any age, because they are not just for the younger generation. You are never too old!”

Meanwhile, Allan Raby, a Level 4 Sheffield College student who also teaches at East Durham College, won the Floristry Tutor of the Year category.

Apprentices Sarah Murphy and Catherine Cooney won first and second places in a FleurEx Awards 2022 competition to create a novelty wedding orb for a bridesmaid.

Tutor Abigail McGuire and Elizabeth Askham, a Level 5 Master Diploma student, from Fresh Ideas in Sheffield, also won a FleurEx Awards competition. The brief was to design a bridal veil for a wedding that will be held at the Ice Hotel in Sweden.

Jo Biddle, Course Leader, Floristry, The Sheffield College, said: “We are so incredibly proud of all of our apprentices and students this year. They have created some wonderful designs and really pushed the boundaries and produced show-stopping creations. Well done to everyone.”

Jo trains the College’s floristry apprentices, as well as higher diploma and masters diploma students at The Floristry School in Sheffield.

The British Florist Association Industry Awards and FleurEx Awards attract entries from commercial florists, apprentices, students and industry suppliers.

The awards took place during October 2022. Visit our website to find out more about our apprenticeships and courses as well as our upcoming open days.

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