Decline of Funeral Flowers

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The decline of funeral flowers is becoming a massive problem to the Floristry Industry. Today less and less people are sending fresh flowers to funerals. Twenty years ago it was expected that you would send flowers to a funeral. As an industry, we need to act on this matter.

Has anybody been to a funeral with no funeral flowers? It really is quite depressing. Today some people ask for no flowers but donations to local charities. This is fine and of course anybody would respect these wishes but I do wonder how many people do send off a cheque. In fact the statistics are showing that the majority are doing nothing. Therefore not ordering flowers or supporting a charity.

Floristry funeral work is on the decline in England, America and Australia. Yet in many parts of South East Asia and China they are very active in displaying floral wreaths for the deceased.

Yet we do have a great medium to show them off. That is our web pages. You could photograph the funeral work and create an on-line photo album. This way the public can see the difference between a funeral with flowers and a funeral with out flowers. It is also a way of promoting your skill to a multi-cultural client base.

I was fortunate to be in Holland a few weeks ago and I rode past a florist that specialised in funeral work. Their window had a casket and also displayed were church bowls and a very large casket sheaf. This was fantastic to see that they were able to overcome the taboo subject of “death” and profiting in business.

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Laura Cavallo has also commenced training for the National Competition.  Hailing from Narre Warren North and studying at Chisholm Institute, Laura won a gold medal in Beauty Therapy at the Regional Competition and looks forward to the National Competition.

“I feel honoured to be representing my region at the National Competition,” says Laura.  “I am practicing as much as I can on my family and friends so I can learn as much as possible before the competition.”

WorldSkills Australia Chair Brian Wexham commented, “Opportunities like the National Competition are vital to ensuring that Australians keep up with the demands of modern industry.  Employers are increasingly seeking highly-skilled workers with the ability to be flexible, responsive and adaptable to the requirements of their professions and technology.  Vocational education and training provides young people with practical, hands-on knowledge to meet these demands.

“With a wide range of competitions, skills demonstrations and WorldSkills Australia’s popular Try’aSkill events on show, the National Competition will highlight the career opportunities available through Vocational Education and Training into stunning visual examples to inspire new generations of the Australian workforce.”

For the young hopefuls gearing up to compete, this is an opportunity to reach their potential and achieve greatness.

“I’m feeling very happy and proud to be representing my region at the National Competition,” says Kathleen.  “Sometimes it’s about giving everything you have.  I’m putting everything into it, reminding myself of all the reasons I’m doing floristry and that anything is possible if you believe!”

Key Facts and Figures

* 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne – Thursday, 6 to Saturday, 8 October 2016, Melbourne Showgrounds
* Over 500 competitors from 31 regions across the country
* Over 50 skill categories in Automotive Services, Building & Construction, Client Services, Computing & Business, Hospitality Services, Metals & Engineering and Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS)
* 25,000sqm floor space – greater than the playing surface of Melbourne Cricket
* $10mil worth of materials and equipment, including:
* 8 tonnes of steel
* 10km of cabling
* 80 mannequin heads
* Over 600kg of flour
* Close to 3,250 stems of flowers and foliage
* 300 Judges
* 100 Volunteers
* Estimated economic impact of $20mil on the Victorian economy


WorldSkills Australia is a national, not-for-profit organisation that provides young Australians aged 23 and under the opportunity to gain new skills, compete against their peers in their chosen trade and fast track their skills and career development. Established in 1981, their purpose is to promote and build a skills respect culture by celebrating skills excellence, inspiring young people and providing them with an opportunity to showcase their trade and skill talent. This is achieved through competitions held on a regional, national and international level.

WorldSkills Australia is a member of WorldSkills International – the global network of over 70 countries who participate in skills competitions.

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Part of being a florist is working with your clients on the best day of their lives and the worst day of their lives.One of the last things you can do for your family is order a quality funeral tribute. We have an obligation to our clients to demonstrate what possibilities there are.

Please remember that flowers clearly show sympathy as so evident after the Sydney siege at St. Martins Place.

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Why don’t florists promote sympathy flowers?

James Milner

Learn more about Funeral Flowers in Certificate III in Floristry SFL30110.

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