WorldSkills Australia competitor profile - Simon
Simon Buchanan, landscape construction, Montmorency
When Simon Buchanan finished school he knew "100%" that landscaping was what he wanted to do.
"Working outdoors is a major bonus, but I also love the diversity in landscaping," says Simon, now qualified in landscape construction. "There are so many different aspects to landscaping and I’m forever learning new things."
Simon started his apprenticeship through a friend who worked at Total Landscape and Construction in Montmorency. He completed his off-the-job training at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE in Fairfield.
"Getting a qualification while getting paid for it makes it the perfect way to learn," said Simon.
As a WorldSkills Australia (new window) champion, with gold medals in both the WorldSkills Regional Competition and WorldSkills National Competition, Simon’s profile in the industry was raised and he has since started his own business.
A work day starts early for Simon. By 7.30am he has already organised all the materials and labour he’ll need when he gets to work. After a brief meeting with all the people he has working with him, Simon spends the day overseeing the construction as well as getting stuck into some of it himself.
"I have to make sure that work is organised well ahead of me and this includes quoting for jobs, designing jobs, organising materials, and all the bookwork that goes with running a business smoothly," he said.
Setting up a business
Simon has been a member of the Silver medal team at the Melbourne Flower & Garden Show and of the Gold medal team in London’s Chelsea Flower & Garden Show. He used many of his existing contacts to advertise his business and with the help of his dad was able to get through all the paperwork to get set up and ready to go.
"The reason I decided to start my own business is that I felt that was my next step in my career. I knew I had it in me to do it, and I was confident that I could so I gave it a shot," he said.
In the future, Simon hopes to expand his business and branch out into design and architecture.
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