The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) has today announced the young competitors that have won a place in Squad UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 – the skills Olympics.

WorldSkills is the biggest international skills competition in the world. Held every two years in one of its 61 member countries or regions, the competition sees around 1,000 young people aged 18 to 23 compete for medals in more than 40 different skills – from mobile robotics, to landscape gardening.

One of the lucky competitors picked for Squad UK is Ashley Terron (see picture above) – a former student of Warrington College that now works for Peter Terron Brickwork Contracting Ltd. The 20-year-old bricklayer told FE Week that in his last year of school one of his teachers strongly discouraged him from going into bricklaying, telling him that he should only consider construction if he failed his A-Levels.

“I’ve used that to spur me on,” says Ashley. “I wanted to prove him wrong.” He believes that trades are undervalued and praises WorldSkills for challenging this.

“Without trades and without the skills that are in the competition the world wouldn’t go round,” he says.

Ben Weardon, a health care assistant at Coote Lane Residential Home who studies at Preston College, told FE Week that gaining a place in Squad UK has given him the belief that his can “do anything”. The 19-year-old, who is competing in the health and social care category, has always wanted to open his own business and since being selected he has secured the funding to do this.

By competing in international competitions, the UK is able to showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations”

The members of Squad UK were chosen from among the UK’s most talented apprentices, employees and learners after they competed in tough three-day selection events. They will spend the next year preparing to take on the very best from across the world, undergoing a specialised training programme supported by a dedicated training manager for each skill.

Squad UK competitors will compete for a place in Team UK at further selection events in March 2013.  Team UK will then carry on training intensively before heading to WorldSkills Leipzig in July 2013.

Jaine Bolton, director at the NAS and UK official delegate to WorldSkills International, said: “I offer my warm support and congratulations to every young person that has earned a place in Squad UK.

“By competing in international competitions, the UK is able to showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through high quality further education, skills training and apprenticeships. This provides the inspiration for young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level.”

FE Week is the official supporters of Squad and Team UK and will be following their progress from the selection competition (read our report here) all the way to Leipzig and beyond.

Squad UK Members list announced today in full:

Beauty Therapy

  • Katie Wright, 20, from St Ives, Cambridge.   Attended Cambridge Regional College, now works at Urban Retreat in London.
  • Naomi Radbourne, 20, from Tamworth, Staffordshire.  Attends Burton and South Derbyshire College and works at Hive of Beauty, Sutton Coldfield.
  • Rianne Chester, 19, from Warrington.  Attends Warrington Collegiate and works at Akira Nails & Beauty , Warrington.


  • Sam Chilvers, 19, an apprentice from Eye Suffolk.  Attends Otley College of Argiculture and Horticulture and works at Crest Nicholson.
  • Ashley Terron, 20, an apprentice from Warrington.  Attends Warrington Collegiate and Warrington Collegiate.

Cabinet Making

  • Blake Fewster, 20, from Taunton, Somerset.  Attends Bridgwater College.
  • Edward Harringman, 18, an from Battle, East Sussex.  Attends Chichester College of Technology.
  • George Callow, 20, an apprentice from Wittering, West Sussex,  Attends Chichester College of Technology and works at Cimitree Furniture.

Health and Social Care

  • Ben Wearden, 19 from Preston.  Attends Preston College and is employed by Coote Lane Residential Home.


  • Philip Glasgow, 21, from  Cookstown, Co, Tyrone, Northern Ireland.  Attends South West College and is employed by RL Scott.

 Confectionery / Pasty Cook

  • Annabelle Wilson, 18, from Hampton, Middlesex.  Attends University of Westminster and  is employed by  Bachmann’s Patisserie
  • Stephen Smith, 17, from Harpenden,  Hertfordshire.  Attends Westminster Kingsway College


  • Louisa May Matthews, 21, from Eton.  Works at Eton College.
  • Danny Hoang, 18 from London.  Attends Westminster Kingsway College and works at L’Autre Pied.
  • Andre Rhone, 18, Northolt, Middlesex.  Works at Royal Garden Hotel, London.

Electrical Installation

  • Matthew Crane, 21, an apprentice from Bristol.  Employed by N G Bailey and attends the Bailey Training Academy.
  • Adrian Canning, 19, an apprentice from Dungiven, Co.Londonderry, Northern Ireland.  Attends North West Regional College and is employed by RMG Electronics.


  • Gareth Humphreys, 19, an apprentice from Warrington. Employed by MBDA and attends Wigan and Leigh College.
  • Heather Peach, 18, an apprentice from Wigan. Employed by MBDA and attends Wigan and Leigh College
  • Michael Cox, 18, an apprentice from Wigan. Employed by MBDA and attends Wigan and Leigh College


  • Caite Bond, 20, from Sussex.
  • Chloe Woolf, 21, from Bradwell Milton Keynes.  Works at Bluebell Flowers in Milton Keynes.
  • Stephanie Tues, 19,  from Barnsley, Yorkshire.  Works at Rachael’s florist in Barnsley.


  • Emma Hodges, 19 from Lydbrook Gloucestershire.  Attends Red Edge Training Company.
  • Charlotte Macey, 20, from Bristol.  Attends City of Bristol College and works at 201 Hair & Beauty.
  • Hannah Clague, 21 an apprentice from Gloucester.   Attends Red Edge Training Company and works at The Cutting Edge.


  • David Beattie, 21 from Newtownstewart, Co. Tyrone.  Attends South West College and employs The Green Oak Framing.

Painting and Decorating

  • Ryan O’Gorman, 20,  from Ballyholland, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.  Attends Southern Regional College.
  • Reece Johnston, 20 from Leicester and attends Leicester College.


Plastering and Dry Wall Systems

  • Ken Wilson, 19 from Belfast.  Attends Belfast Metropolitan College and is employed by Wilson Plastering.
  • Robert Johnson, 19 from Middlesbrough.   Attends Redcar and Cleveland College and is employed by Classic Plaster Moulds.


Plumbing and Heating

  • Lee Cuthill, 21, an apprentice from Denbighshire, Wales.  Attends Yale College and is employed by D I Jones Heating Engineers.
  • Ashley Bainbridge, 21 from Sale, Cheshire.  Attends Salford City College and is employed by John Fletchers Engineers.


  • Steve Poole, 21 an apprentice from Church Down Gloucestershire.  Attends City Of Bath College and is employed by Meister Masonry
  • Robert Broomsgrove, 20, an apprentice  from High Bridge Somerset.  Attends Weymouth College and is employed by Wells Cathedral Stonemasons.
  • Jonathan Cowell, 19, an apprentice from Blackburn.  Attends York College and is employed by  Lambert Walker Conservation and Restoration

Wall and Floor Tiling

  • Mark Woods, 21, from Lack, Co, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.  Attends South West College and works at Artie Mullan Tiling
  • Graham Burns, 20, from Tandragee, Co Armargh.  Attends Southern Regional College and is employed by Brian Burns Tiling Services.

Visual Merchandising

  • Sarah Smithers, 20, from Woking, Surrey.  Works at Alexander James Interiors.
  • Jenna Stephenson, 19, from Sefton, Liverpool.  Will attend Liverpool Community College in September.

Web Design

  • Charlie Benjafield, 17 from Milton Keynes.  Attends Stantonbury Campus.
  • Daniel Koehler, 17, from Carmarthenshire, Wales.  Attends Coleg Sir Gar.