Skills champions chosen to give spotlight presentations in Birmingham

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Two former students of New College Lanarkshire are to give spotlight presentations this week at The Skills Show in Birmingham.

'Skills Champions' Kim Reid and Andrew Beel will be joined by 31 students representing New College Lanarkshire, who will be competing for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in their chosen disciplines.

The Skills Show, organised by WorldSkills UK, is Britain’s largest trade skills contest attracting thousands of students and apprentices from organisations across the UK. It takes place at the NEC from November 17 to 19.

Kim, who won a Gold medal for IT Solutions for Business at The Skills Show in 2013, will give a presentation on ‘Women in Engineering’. Having studied HND Software Development at New College Lanarkshire before gaining a first-class BEng (Hons) in Software Engineering from Edinburgh’s Napier University, she is now employed as a software engineer with global cyber security company Northrop Grumman in Cheltenham.

Andrew, who won a Gold medal in Mechanical Engineering: CAD at the continent-wide EuroSkills Lille contest in 2014, will talk about his journey from ‘Scotland to Brazil’ after winning a Medallion for Excellence at global contest WorldSkills São Paulo in 2015. Andrew is now a mechanical designer at oil and gas services firm Pacson Valves in Dundee.

New College Lanarkshire has more students than any other organisation in Scotland competing at The Skills Show.

Indeed, in November 2013 and November 2014, the College won the coveted title of ‘Best in the UK’ after finishing top of the medal table.

This week, our students will compete in a range of disciplines, including Web Development, 3D Digital Game Art, Restaurant Service, IT Support Technician, Network Systems Administrator, Fashion and Photographic Make-Up, Media Make-Up Body, Hairdressing, Mechanical Engineering CAD, Popular Music Performance and the Manufacturing Team Challenge.

Ben Blackledge, Director of Education and Skills Competitions at WorldSkills UK, said: “Following Kim and Andrew’s successes at The Skills Show as competitors, it is great to have them involved this year as Skills Champions.

“They are brilliant ambassadors for the IT and Engineering sectors. By sharing their competition and career journeys, they can show young people just how far they can go with an apprenticeship or training course and how participation in competitions can really help develop the employability skills that employers are desperate for.”

Barry Skea, Assistant Head of Faculty of Engineering & Automotive, said: “I am delighted that Kim and Andrew have been chosen to give spotlight presentations at The Skills Show.

“Having excelled in the course of their studies at New College Lanarkshire, they have gone on to forge highly-successful careers in industry.

“I hope their successes inspire our competitors at this year’s Skills Show to perform to their full potential and to apply the skills they learn in both their studies and future careers.”

Matthew Smith, Head of Faculty of Computing & Creative Industries, said: “Kim and Andrew were excellent students at the College who have benefited greatly from their studies and are great role models for other students.

“I congratulate them on their achievements.”

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