The UK’s best young apprentices and vocational students have been crowned the nations’ No.1 in a glittering ceremony in Birmingham.
WorldSkills UK LIVE, which attracted more than 80,000 young people to the NEC, was the backdrop for the National Finals of WorldSkills UK’s Competitions and saw more than 500 young people compete in over 70 different disciplines.
Taking part in WorldSkills UK Competitions equips young people with the world-class skills needed to help UK businesses better compete globally.
Among those bringing home medals were three students from Gower College Swansea:
Gold medal – Catherine Jones (Forensic Science)
Gold medal – Liam Hughes (Industrial Electronics)
Silver medal – Rhys Watts (Industrial Electronics)
Highly commended – Ben Lewis (Industrial Electronics)
“This is a life-changing moment for these young people,” says Ben Blackledge, Deputy CEO of WorldSkills UK. “They have already won regional competitions and now their National Finals – they are the new generation of high flyers that will give UK employers a competitive edge. We couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them – the standard of competition could not have been higher.”
“This is an amazing set of results considering we had a comparably small number of students taking part,” says Curriculum Leader for Electronic Engineering, Steve Williams. “This medal haul puts us comfortably in the top 10 of competing UK colleges – we are placed seventh overall which is a fantastic achievement. The Industrial Electronics learners are now really looking forward to 2 December when they will find out if they have done enough to make the UK squad heading to the WorldSkills Finals in Shanghai in 2021.”
Meanwhile, the NEC event was the culmination of Catherine Jones’ WorldSkills journey as there is no European/World stage for her particular discipline, Forensic Science.
“We are all really proud of Catherine for bringing home the Gold not only for the College but for the whole of Wales,” adds lecturer Amy Herbert.
Special mention must also go to the following students who took part in WorldSkills UK Live and who were fantastic ambassadors for Gower College Swansea throughout the event – Nathan Evans (Industrial Electronics), and Reuben Johnston and Paulina Skoczek (both Restaurant Services.)
WorldSkills UK LIVE is deemed as the very best event of its kind in Europe, and is brimming with stimulating talks, hands-on exhibits, fascinating fact sharing activities and Q&A sessions with leading employers and scintillating entertainment.
Dozens of the UK’s major employers, organisations and educators had a high-profile presence at LIVE in their quest to recruit the next generation of high-fliers. Among them were BAE Systems, Toyota Manufacturing UK, Health Education England, Lloyds Banking Group, the armed forces, Middlesex University, Leicester College and Dudley College of Technology advertising over 20,000 training and employment opportunities.