A bricklayer from Warrington and a cabinet maker from Chichester proved to be golden for the UK as they were honoured as the best young tradesmen in the world.
Twenty one-year-olds Ashley Terron and George Callow took top spots at the WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 closing ceremony.
A visibly moved Ashley told FE Week just moments after learning of his success: “I’m so happy. I saw my mum and my dad when my gold was announced and they were going crazy.
“I’ve lived WorldSkills for the past two years, but I wasn’t expecting to win anything.
“It means everything to me. It will change my life – I’m the world’s best young bricklayer now.”
George, who also scored highest among Team UK to claim the best in nation award, said: “I knew I’d done well in the tasks, but thought there was really little in it.
“I tried my best, but when I saw other countries winning golds I thought ‘maybe it’s not our year’.
“But I’m ecstatic. All the hard work I’ve put in has paid off.”
A silver medal added to Team UK’s awards haul thanks to the stonemasonry efforts of Somerset 21-year-old Robert Broomsgrove. Three bronzes came Team UK’s way, too, courtesy of 22-year-olds Matthew Quinn, from Northern Ireland, in autobody repair; Benjamin Tullett, from Hampshire, in aircraft maintenance; and, Matthew Crane, from Bristol, in electrical installations.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “British ambition and ingenuity has once again taken on and beaten the best in the world and I extend my congratulations to Team UK.
“As we compete in the global race, this government is on the side of ambitious young people who want to work hard and get on and we will continue in our efforts to build the biggest and best apprenticeship programme.”
There were also 17 medallions for excellence dished out among Team UK members who hit world class scores in their skill.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Congratulations to Team UK who brought home six medals and 17 medallions for excellence.
“They have demonstrated that when it comes to skills Britain has world class ability.
“Vocational skills are important to the success of every business. That’s why in these difficult times I have prioritised apprenticeship funding, so that employers can access the country’s talent to help build a stronger economy.”
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Congratulations to Team UK on their fantastic achievements at WorldSkills.
“They have played a hugely important role in promoting the importance and value of vocational skills and practical learning to young people, their parents and employers.”
Team UK Medals
|Cabinet making||George Callow||Gold|
|Autobody repair||Matthew Quinn||Bronze|
|Aircraft maintenance||Benjamin Tullett||Bronze|
|Electrical installations||Matthew Crane||Bronze|
|Beauty therapy||Katie Wright||Medallion For Excellence|
|Confectioner / Pastry chef||Stephen Smith||Medallion For Excellence|
|Cooking||Louisa May Matthews||Medallion For Excellence|
|Car painting||Gary Greer||Medallion For Excellence|
|Refrigeration and airconditioning||Stephen Burge||Medallion For Excellence|
|IT network systems administration||Nehmaan Ahmed||Medallion For Excellence|
|Manufacturing team challenege||Daniel Gebhard, Andrew Maguire and George Moffat||Medallion For Excellence|
|Mechatronics||David Cargill and James Overend||Medallion For Excellence|
|Mechanical engineering CAD||Andrew Craig||Medallion For Excellence|
|Welding||Alastair Wilson||Medallion For Excellence|
|Wall and floor tiling||Mark Wood||Medallion For Excellence|
|Plumbing and heating||Ashley Bainbridge||Medallion For Excellence|
|Plastering and dry wall systems||Kenneth Wilson||Medallion For Excellence|
|Painting and decorating||Kirk Croft||Medallion For Excellence|
|Joinery||David Beattie||Medallion For Excellence|
|Floristry||Chloe Woolf||Medallion For Excellence|
|Hairdressing||Hannah Clague||Medallion For Excellence|