18 competitors from West Wales have been awarded medals for their triumphs during this month’s WorldSkills UK National Finals.
More than five thousand young people registered to take part in this year’s WorldSkills UK competitions, with only 537 selected to compete in the UK finals. Out of the 130 strong Welsh competitors, 2 gold, 5 silver, 9 bronze, and 2 highly commended medals were awarded to competitors from West Wales.
For the fourth year running, Team Wales has claimed the title as the top-performing region in the WorldSkills UK National Finals. Wales scooped a total of 59 medals, coming away with more wins than any other UK region.
The official results were announced during a live medal ceremony on Steph McGovern’s Packed Lunch show last Friday and came after a series of national competitions that took place across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
WorldSkills UK supports young people to take part in skills competitions, assessments, and benchmarking, with competitors from all four nations competing against one another to achieve national recognition in their chosen category.
The competitions challenge competitors in four different sectors to be named the best in their skill including Construction & Infrastructure, Engineering & Technology, Health, Hospitality and Lifestyle, and Digital, Business & Creative.
Silver medallist in the Foundation Skills: Catering category, Mia Bowskill, from Coleg Sir Gar, said:
“The best part of competing was the honour of representing my country. The experience was unforgettable.
“I would recommend skills competitions to anyone. They empower you, increase your confidence, and open doors to so many new and exciting opportunities. I have developed and improved skills in catering, problem-solving and resilience – skills that will be so beneficial to my future.
“Everyone has worked extremely hard during the competitions, and it feels incredible to have received a silver medal on Friday!”
Cardiff & Vale College hosted a number of finals and was this year’s host venue for all of the Foundation Skills Competitions – a group of competitions that are designed for students who have a statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) and/or disabilities.
Welsh competitors also won a total of 16 medals in the Foundation Skills competitions. This is the most of any UK region and a testament to Wales’ diversity and inclusivity.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “I’m delighted to celebrate another outstanding year for Team Wales at the WorldSkills UK National Finals. Each year Wales raises the bar higher, standards increase, and competitors go above and beyond to proudly represent our country.
“The Welsh Government is committed to investing in our future generations and providing our young people with opportunities to develop world class skills. WorldSkills and the Inspiring Skills in Wales project are an important part of this. I wish this year’s competitors the best of luck as they use these skills to forge successful future careers in Wales.”
WorldSkills UK, Deputy CEO Ben Blackledge, said: “What a performance. Being crowned best in the UK is no mean feat, especially with all the disruptions and difficulties the competitors have had to overcome in recent years.
“Everyone who put themselves forward for the WorldSkills UK competitions this year is a real inspiration and should be proud of their efforts. Skills are the lifeblood of every economy, creating high quality jobs, rewarding careers, inward investment and growth.”
Partly funded by the Welsh Government and run by a dedicated network of colleges, work-based learning providers, universities and employer-led organisations, WorldSkills UK aims to inspire and upskill future generations by developing young people’s vocational skills while celebrating their achievements.
Competitions begin at a regional level with Skills Competition Wales led by the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project, and progress through to national and international competitions.
For more information on WorldSkills UK and how to start your journey as a competitor, tutor or employer in Wales, visit https://inspiringskills.gov.wales/ More stories