Brightest Lanarkshire students selected for WorldSkills UK finals

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The finest apprentices and students have been announced as finalists at the prestigious WorldSkills UK contest – and 19 of those are from New College Lanarkshire!

The students have been selected as the top performers in their chosen skills from National Qualifiers held across the UK, and will now go on to compete in front of more than 70,000 spectators at the UK final held at The Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham from 15-17 November.

Around 500 competitors will vie for gold, silver and bronze medals in their chosen disciplines – which may make them eligible for selection to represent the nation at WorldSkills Shanghai 2021.

Following in the footsteps of Team UK’s Ross Megahy, who is set to compete in EuroSkills Budapest from 26–28 September, the students will be competing to be best in the UK in the hope of proving themselves the best in the world.

They will now take part in a three-day intensive competition in Birmingham and represent eight specialist skills: IT Software Solutions for Business, Web Design, IT Support Technician, Network Systems Administrator, Network Infrastructure Technician, Mechanical Engineering: CAD, Media Make-up: Body, and Fashion and Photographic Make-up.

Jakub Czaja will be representing the College in Web Design, while Thomas Scott, Callum Frost and Gary Robertson will be battling it out in IT Software Solutions for Business.

Meanwhile, two of the country’s best in the IT Support Technician category will be competing – Dawid Soczka and Lewis Crichton. They will be alongside Fraser Cameron who will be in the Network Systems Administrator category and Matthew Ridley in the Network Infrastructure Technician category. The competition in Mechanical Engineering: CAD will see Andrew Friel, Angus McPherson, Lukasz Klys and Ben Harrison compete.

From the College’s Faculty of Service Industries, Declan Smith will compete in Confectionery, Courtney Craig will compete in the Media Make-up: Body category, while Kerry McFadyen, Gemma Thomas, Alana Maxwell and Kane Hayes will showcase their talents in Fashion and Photographic Make-up.

One other student from New College Lanarkshire will compete in Electrical Installation.

Matthew Smith, Head of Faculty at New College Lanarkshire and member of the WorldSkills Strategy Steering Group for Scotland, said: “WorldSkills competitions offer the chance for our students to show their hard work and commitment to their subject on a national scale, benchmarking against the best in the country.

“It is a great credit to New College Lanarkshire and to the fantastic teaching staff that 19 of our best students have been selected to compete in the competitions.

“I hope that each student will use the opportunity not only to show their talent, but to enhance their confidence and skills for the future.”

WorldSkills UK competitions are run in more than 60 skill areas and are proven to help people go further, faster in their training and chosen career.

Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive of WorldSkills UK, said: “I offer my congratulations to all the competitors from New College Lanarkshire.

“Our competitions equip apprentices and learners with the lifelong, world-class skills that will drive up training standards to the highest level to help boost UK productivity and competitiveness.”

The team will spend from now until November in training for WorldSkills UK, supported by teaching staff and experts.

New College Lanarkshire has been a top three institution at WorldSkills UK three times in the past five years.

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