New College Lanarkshire Student wins Medallion of Excellence at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi


New College Lanarkshire student and WorldSkills UK champion Betsy Crosbie has been recognised for excellence at the world’s largest skills competition.

Betsy Crosbie, 21 from East Kilbride competed against the best students and apprentices of Mechanical Engineering: Computer Aided Design (CAD) from across the world at the WorldSkills Final in Abu Dhabi from 14 – 19 October, bringing home a coveted Medallion of Excellence.

She formed part of Team UK, which finished 10th in the awards table in Abu Dhabi picking up 20 medals - one gold, three silver, three bronze and 13 medallions of excellence - at a spectacular closing ceremony in front of 15,000 people and the World’s media at the ad Du Arena.

Having already competed and succeeded in WorldSkills UK 2016 and EuroSkills Gothenburgh 2016, Betsy has already proven herself as a leader in the skill – but has now been recognised globally as one of the best in the world.

Competing against 24 other competitors from Spain to Switzerland, Kazakhstan to Korea, Betsy was one of only two females in the competition and the sole representative in her category from UK. She said:

“It was amazing to take part in the competition and see the level of talent and commitment.

“I am absolutely delighted to have won a Medallion of Excellence on such a global stage and really pleased that my hard work up to this stage has paid off.

“It was an intense four days but I was more than ready for it after experiencing the level of competition at WorldSkills and EuroSkills, and my trainers and mentors        Barry Skea and Ryan Sheridan made sure I was up for the challenge.

“Now that I’ve achieved an international award, I can’t wait to see what is next in store for me!”

Held every two years, WorldSkills sees around 1,200 young people, aged 18-25, from all over 50 nations come together to compete for medals in more than 50 different skills areas, including Electrical Installation, Welding, Web Design, Cooking and Bricklaying.

Betsy competed in Abu Dhabi with 33 of her fellow Team UK members – who had beat off thousands of apprentices and students in regional heats, a national final, a Team UK selection process and months of intensive training.

Dr. Neil Bentley, CEO of WorldSkills UK said:

“These young people have done the nation proud. If we celebrate Team UK’s success and use it to inspire others to follow in their footsteps - the future of the UK is in safe hands.”

Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Anne Milton MP, who visited the competition to support WorldSkills UK and the team, called upon parents to take note of the results saying: “I have been blown away by Team UK. They have done fantastically well – this is the UK competing on the World stage for skills and achieving great things. There will be huge celebrations when they come home. To get to this level is brilliant.

“There is a message here for parents – university is not the only option – the opportunities are boundless if they overcome any bias that they might have. We must ensure that the young apprentices here become an inspiration to others.

 “WorldSkills UK is doing a fantastic job supporting these young people – with thousands of hours of input. We need to put all that they are doing - the ethos of this competition, the spirit of these apprentices- into a bottle and sprinkle it across the UK.”

Betsy has had an extensive journey to WorldSkills since starting at New College Lanarkshire in 2015. Having had a passion for graphic communication from school, Betsy enrolled at the College’s Motherwell Campus in 2015 on the HNC Computer Aided Draughting and Design course.

Being quickly recognised as a high achiever in the skill, Betsy was encouraged to compete in regional WorldSkills competitions to get a place in the WorldSkills UK in November 2015. Winning a silver medal, Betsy was then put forward to compete in EuroSkills in Gothenburgh, December 2016 where she also achieved a Medallion of Excellence.

Having been announced as a Team UK member in April 2017, Betsy has been training vigorously to ensure she is at the top of her game for Abu Dhabi.

Barry Skea, Head of Faculty in Engineering and Automotive at the College as well as CAD Expert in WorldSkills competitions, trained and mentored Betsy throughout her WorldSkills journey, and was in Abu Dhabi judging other competitors during the competitions.

He said: “It has been absolutely inspiring watching Betsy grow from a shy, young student into a confident, professional international competitor and winner.

“Her work ethic, dedication and passion for the subject has resulted in her achieving success upon success in both WorldSkills and in her career progression.

“WorldSkills aims to raise global standards in the industry, along with giving young people the chance to prove their skills and be recognised on the world stage. Betsy has made the most of every opportunity given to her and deserves to be recognised on an international level.

“To achieve a Medallion of Excellence on a global platform is an incredible achievement for Betsy, Scotland, New College Lanarkshire and for females everywhere. Betsy has proven that there are no limitations to what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.”

New College Lanarkshire has a proud track record at WorldSkills competitions, including being named Best in UK at WorldSkills UK three times in the past four years having previously received the most medals out of any UK organisation.

This year the College has the most competitors of any UK organisation to the WorldSkills UK competitions in Birmingham taking place at The Skills Show from 16-18 November 2017.

Read more about our previous Worldskills success here

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