Nine Warwickshire students have been named among the UK’s best young apprentices and students at a glittering ceremony in Birmingham.
WorldSkills UK LIVE at the NEC Birmingham, which attracted more than 80,000 young people gearing up for a vocational pathway to work, was the backdrop for the all-important National Finals of WorldSkills UK’s Competitions.
More than 500 apprentices and students competed in over 70 different disciplines as part of the WorldSkills UK Competitions which equips young people with the world-class skills needed to help UK businesses better compete globally.
Those taking part in the competitions were also hoping to secure the opportunity to represent the UK at the WorldSkills Finals, known as the ‘skills Olympics’ in Shanghai in 2021.
North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College’s Cian Coakley won gold and Natalie Hill was highly commended in Creative Media Make-Up and their fellow students Joe Taplin, Megan Dawes, Samuel Hemmings and Holly Johnson won silver medals in in Digital Media Production.
Renata Egan-Wyer from WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) scooped a gold medal in floristry and her fellow student Jen Jones was presented with silver.
The medal haul was completed by Ellie Ruff, who won silver in Visual Merchandising for North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College.
Ben Blackledge, Deputy CEO of WorldSkills UK, said: “This is a life-changing moment for these young people. 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.”
Gemma Gathercole, Productivity & Skills Executive Officer at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said the standard of the students’ work had been extremely high,
“It was a really well attended event once again and it was fascinating to see the work these talented students in our area produced in the National Finals,” she said.
“They should all be really proud of their efforts and it highlights the high standard of teaching in our further education colleges in our area.
“This was a terrific achievement from students in the Further Education sector and underlines the importance of our brilliant colleges here in Coventry and Warwickshire as part of the whole skills system.
“Skills is one of the key areas for the CWLEP because it is vital students are being taught the skills which employers need and this event helps towards achieving that.”