The elite squad of UK talent heading to Belgium for next week’s EuroSkills competition has been announced.
A window displayer from Liverpool, a Somerset stonemason and a painter from Leicester are among 22 competitors bound for Spa.
A Gloucester hairdresser is also in the team for the biennial competition, which takes place October 4-6, along with a Scottish welder and carpenters from Northern Ireland and Wales.
Most of the Euroskills team also figures in the UK squad already announced for next year’s WorldSkills competition in Leipzig, Germany.
Euroskills is an important part of our competitors’ training ahead of the selection for Team UK”
Jaine Bolton, from the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and UK delegate at EuroSkills, said: “This will be the first experience for Squad UK members of competing against competitors from different countries. I wish them the best of luck.”
And the Spa tournament will give UK selectors an early chance to see their competitors in action, before whittling their WorldSkills squad, managed by NAS, down from around 90.
“Euroskills is an important part of our competitors’ training ahead of the selection for Team UK as it will enable them to benchmark their skill levels against those from all over Europe and gain confidence in competing in front of audiences,” added Mrs Bolton.
Nick Linford, editor of WorldSkills UK media partner FE Week, said: “EuroSkills will give us a good idea of the kind of standards we’ll need to meet — and beat — if we are going to come away from Leipzig next year with gold medals.”
He added: “I’ll actually be at Euroskills too, with FE Week colleague Shane Mann, to wave the flag and report on how well we do.”
Members of the UK’s Worldskills squad not competing at EuroSkills will take part in other competitions and industry events as part of their training regimes, including next month’s Skills Show at Birmingham’s NEC.
Picture: Hannah Clague, 21, from Gloucester, attends Red Edge Training Company
The EuroSkills UK competitors are as follows:
Sarah Smithers, 20 and from Woking, in Surrey, goes to East Berkshire College and will be competing in window display with Liverpool Community College’s Jenna Stephenson, 18.
Gloucester 21-year-old Hannah Clague, who attends Red Edge Training Company, will be doing hairdressing, while Weymouth College’s Robert Broomsgrove, 20, will compete at stonemasonry.
Apprentice Alastair Wilson, 21, who works at Doosan Babcock, in Scotland, will be welding.
James Overend, 22, studies at the Engineering Council for Northern Ireland and will be competing at mechatronics with fellow Irishman David Cargill, 18, who studies at Northern Regional College.
Electronics will see Wigan duo Gareth Humphries, 19, and Heather Peach, 18, who both work at MBDA UK, battle it out.
Landscape gardening and design will have three UK entrants in 25-year-old Jack Jameson, from Ipswich and Ottley College, Aaron Jamison, 18, who goes to Northern Ireland’s College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise, and Writtle College’s Jack Conway, 19 and from Essex.
Philip Glasgow, 21 and from Northern Ireland, goes to South West College and will be showing off his carpentry skills with Welsh 19-year-old Gareth Jones, who goes to Coleg Sir Gar.
Middlesbrough’s Robert Johnson, who goes to Redcar and Cleveland College, will be competing at plastering and dry wall systems with fellow 19-year-old Ken Wilson, who goes to Belfast Metropolitan University.
Leicester College 20-year-old Reece Johnston will be painting while 21-year-old Mark Woods, who goes to Northern Ireland’s South West College, will be tiling walls and floors.
Amy Leigh Wilson, 17, goes to Blackpool and The Flyde College, will be displaying her skills as a carer with 18-year-old Georgina Briscoe, from Derby University.
Cooking and serving skills will be on the menu with Middlesex 19-year-old Andre Rhone, from the Royal Garden Hotel, and 22-year-old Wojciech Pastor, who works at The Gleneagles Hotel, in Scotland.