A FORMER New College Lanarkshire student has been recognised for his software skills at an international competition.
Following on from his gold medal at WorldSkills UK, Andrew Beel, 20, was selected to represent Team UK at EuroSkills, the largest skills competition in Europe which was held in Lille, France, earlier this month.
Competing in the Mechanical Engineering CAD category, Andrew was up against people from all over the world and was awarded one of the UK’s three gold medals. He also received the Best of Nation medal, meaning he had the highest score out of all the members of the UK team.
He said: “It was amazing to be at EuroSkills – this event is massive and was just incredible to be part of the team. I couldn’t believe it when I won – I just jumped in the air, it was a great feeling.
“After winning a gold medal at WorldSkills UK, I knew I wanted to be selected for EuroSkills and now I want to compete at the WorldSkills 2015 in Brazil. That’s my next goal.”
Originally from East Kilbride, Andrew now works at Pacson Valves, in Dundee, a job he would have struggled to get if it wasn’t for his experience at college and the competitions.
He added: “I am so grateful to New College Lanarkshire for getting me involved in WorldSkills UK initially. If it hadn’t been for the support of the lecturers then I wouldn’t have the job I have now.
“The software is based on the programmes I worked with at college and the competition. I have been able to really develop and enhance my skills through these competitions which has benefitted my work.”
New College Lanarkshire is extremely proud of Andrew and Principal Martin McGuire has congratulated the former student.
He said: “To be awarded one of only three gold medals in the UK team is a tremendous achievement for Andrew and he has demonstrated the highest level of ability and professionalism.
“He trained hard to be at the competition and he has a real hope for Sao Paulo and is an example of how to do the job.
“It’s extremely important that the college is offering the best possible learning environment which allows our students to develop their skills and that commitment will continue.
“Andrew’s medal once again highlights that we have hugely talented students who have the desire and determination to succeed.”
Linda McTavish, chair of Lanarkshire’s Regional Board, added: “This is a fantastic accolade for Andrew and New College Lanarkshire.
“This success showcases the expertise within the college and it’s a testament to the staff for ensuring Andrew has had the right support to go on to participate in international events, like Euroskills.
“A once in a lifetime experience which I am sure he won’t forget.”