Students from one of Wales’ biggest colleges are through to the National Finals of the WorldSkills UK Competitions taking place at the Birmingham NEC in November.
Coleg Gwent, which is currently first in Wales for Vocational Qualifications, has nine students taking part in the prestigious competition this year. The students involved are; Megan Sampson, Luke Williams, Ethan Gilmore, Jessica Leonard, Ricky Raybould, Thomas Seward, Rachel and Rebecca Watson, and Karen Coates.
Each student came in the top few of their chosen trade at the Skills Competition Wales Finals and will be among 500 skilled apprentices from across the UK. With around 70,000 spectators, they will all be competing for the chance to be number one in their chosen trade and represent the UK at the WorldSkills Kazan event in 2019.
The nine from Coleg Gwent will join 93 other students from colleges across the country to represent Wales at The Skills Show.
Megan Sampson, 21 from Cwmbran, is studying for a Foundation Degree in Analytical and Forensic Science. She said she feels honoured to have gotten through to the WorldSkills UK Final.
“My future plan is to work as a Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO) so it's definitely a great experience and an amazing opportunity. I'm definitely looking forward to it and can't wait to test my skills while gaining some experience!”
With the first round of competitions backed by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund, Skills Competition Wales was a series of events held in colleges across the country, designed to celebrate vocational skills and create highly skilled, award winning employees for the Welsh workforce.
Daryl Head, a Nationwide Repairs Technician, is representing the UK at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi in October. Richard Wheeler, World Skills UK training expert for car painting at Coleg Gwent, has been training Daryl for a year to help him take the competition by storm.
Daryl's aim is to be the best he can be.
“I want to make myself proud, my family and friends proud and obviously make work proud too. When you realise what WorldSkills can power your career onto, it would be stupid to miss the opportunity.”
Wishing all involved the best of luck, Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, said:
“At the Skills Show last year, the Welsh team topped the leader board of UK regions winning a total of 45 medals, which demonstrates that we’re producing some of the most highly skilled young people across the nation.
“In a year when Wales is celebrating legends of the past, competitions like these showcase the talent across the country and provide a platform for emerging Welsh legends of the future.
“Along with their hard work and determination, I would like to extend a special thank you to all the local businesses, schools and colleges across Wales who support these talented individuals.
“I would like to congratulate the Coleg Gwent students on their fantastic achievement and wish them the best of luck in the next stage of the competition and future career.”
For more information about studying at Coleg Gwent, visit www.coleggwent.ac.uk.3