The floristry industry itself is relatively buoyant in the UK, with over 8,000 businesses employing around 29,000 people. Many say internet floral sales are challenging the industry but research shows consumers prefer to purchase flowers via traditional means.
Receiving flowers makes someone feel special, they help provide atmosphere to a room and build character. Whether they are in the form of bouquets, centrepieces, dressing stage sets or window displays there is definitely a demand for traditional floral services. Bridgwater College in Somerset offers a range of Floristry Courses to help individuals embark on their desired career.
Floristry tutors at Bridgwater College’s Cannington and Yeovil Centres have extensive knowledge of working within the commercial floristry industry. Each member of staff is an expert in their own right, owning a specific style allowing students to benefit from their individual skills and qualities. The staff constantly look to progress their knowledge and ability by participating in training, the most recent being seminars led by leading international floral designers Wally Klett and Gregor Lersch. Styles and techniques from across the UK and Europe were discussed and presented which in return have a knock on effect to the students encouraging them to experiment with the latest industry developments and trends.
The courses the College delivers do not just involve students producing floral displays, they are also exposed to a range of other opportunities. This year one of our highly experienced floristry tutors has been given the honour of designing a floral stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This privilege will also allow students to learn about behind the scenes policies, procedures, rules and regulations and what could happen if they were involved in a TV appearance.
Ruby Cresswell recently joined the floristry team at Bridgwater College’s Cannington and Yeovil Centres as a Technician and has provided a snapshot of her experience so far. Ruby says,
“Since taking up my post as Floristry Technician in August, I have been able to develop my organisational and interpersonal skills through the diverse range of field trips we have on offer to the student cohort.
“Since the start of the academic year in September we have travelled to Salisbury Cathedral allowing our students to see other talented florists creations at the Magna Carta Flower Festival. We have also visited various wholesalers helping to familiarise the students with different brands and items on the market.
“Not only do we travel nationally to give our budding florists a diverse learning experience, but we also travel internationally. Students are given the opportunity to visit Holland, combining visits to growers with practical workshops conducted by a Dutch Master Florist. In May we are also off to explore the streets of Girona, as the city hosts its annual Flower Festival, Temps de Flors, making it a fantastic opportunity. Being able to travel will enable our students to build upon their pre-existing knowledge base and give them inspiration to further develop their own skills.
“Students are also introduced and encouraged to take part in various floristry competitions, where the skills they develop and acquire have the ability to fast track their careers.
“Being able to support and provide our learners with these invaluable experiences excites me. Providing opportunities for students to develop their practical skills and knowledge really drives me and if I can help them become a well-rounded and capable florist, my job is complete.”
Kirsty Ashton is studying the Floristry Level 2 Diploma and recently competed in the British Florist Association’s (BFA) FleurEx 2015 Show at Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth, Warwickshire. Kisrtsy was so enthused by the amount of skills she had acquired within the first few weeks of her course that she decided to enter the competition. The course then helped her feel proud of what she accomplished while acquiring new skills and ideas for future projects.
If you would like to know more about the range of full- and part-time floristry courses at Bridgwater College’s Cannington and Yeovil Centres please contact our Information and Guidance team by calling 01278 441234. Alternatively, from April 30 to May 2 2016, floristry staff will be involved in designing a flower festival to raise funds for nominated charities at St. Mary the Virgin Cannington Church, near Bridgwater, where they will be encouraging students to plan and create their own interpretative work.