When Jordan Cahill left Mater Maria Catholic College in Warriewood in 2013 he had no idea that in a few short years he would be competing in garden design on the world stage.
“I did HSC subjects like Woodwork, Business Studies, and Earth and Environmental Science and I was looking for something which would combine them all,” Mr Cahill said.
A careers advisor at the College suggested landscaping. “I thought why not give that a shot,” said Mr Cahill. “The school gave me a great reference and I got a job at The Gardenmakers. It’s been pretty perfect. I love the hands-on experience and I like being outdoors every day.”
At just 21, Mr Cahill won a competition to do work experience in the UK, and ended up constructing an exhibit for the 2017 Chelsea Flower Show.
“It’s an internationally recognized competition where winners are awarded Gold, Silver, or Bronze medals,” he said. Mr Cahill took out the Gold medal at the State championships, Silver at Nationals and was recommended for a scholarship to do work experience.
“It’s essentially the trades Olympics,” he said.
He won the scholarship and approached British landscape company The Outdoor Room to work on their Chelsea Flower Show exhibit.
“I worked for a month constructing the exhibit,” he said. “It was amazing going through three years of my apprenticeship and then working at the most prestigious flower show in the world.”
After returning from London, Mr Cahill was awarded NSW Apprentice of the Year across all trades last year and is now an ambassador and spokesperson for VET. “VET helped me to pursue my career and go the distance, and go worldwide,” he said.