Almost 100 young people were today (July 7) confirmed as UK squad members for next year’s WorldSkills competition in Brazil.
Following three days of gruelling tests in their different skill areas, 98 young people landed a spot on the squad, offering them the chance to go on to compete at WorldSkills in Sao Paulo next year.
The successful competitors will now undergo 11 months of training to bring them up to world class standard, before the final team for Brazil is picked.
Former Westminster Kingsway College cookery apprentice Danny Hoang, aged 20, was one of those who made it on to the squad.
Danny, who is now a chef at The Grove Hotel, in Watford, said: “When I heard I’d got through I just felt massive delight — this week was really, really hard, physically, mentally and technically but I’m really happy with the results.
“When I was standing waiting to hear the judges’ decision I was really nervous — I had a flashback of all my mistakes through the week so I wasn’t sure I’d get through.”
The best bit of the squad selection process, he added, was being able to gauge his own performance and see it improve throughout the week.
“It’s been good to be around people who are just as passionate in their own skill and are same-minded as well, “ he said.
“That’s probably one of the strongest supports you can have in a competition like this.”
Danny made it to selection stage last year, but didn’t get through to squad.
After two years’ involvement with the competition, Danny described his WorldSkills experience so far as “amazing and life-changing”.
Hairdressing competitor Eleni Constantinou, 21, who is an apprentice at her father’s salon, Tino Constantinou in Cardiff, said: “It’s like a complete and utter rollercoaster — at the beginning you think if ‘I do it I do it, if I don’t, I don’t’ but then it becomes such a big thing.
“Until you’re sat out there you’ll never know how much it means, you don’t realise until it gets closer — it’s the worst thing, but when you find out you’ve got in, it’s the best, so you get the best and worst in one day.”
The selection announcement came as a surprise for Mirella McGee, 20 and from Kent, an architectural stonemasonry apprentice at Canterbury Cathedral.
“I thought I didn’t get through — I was told only three would get through, and I heard three of the others’ names and ‘I thought oh never mind’ and then they said my name,” she said.
“I thought I’d really messed up on the last day and that was it my alarm didn’t go off in the morning so I missed the briefing and just everything went wrong… so I’d just accepted that I wasn’t going through.”
She added: “It means everything to get through — it’s the experience, I’ve proved to myself that I’m a bit better than I sometimes think, because I don’t often have much confidence in my work and I guess the training weeks and stuff have paid off because I wouldn’t have been able to do this when I started out — I’m really looking forward to carrying on with the training.”
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock congratulated the squad members.
“The World Skills Competition is an opportunity for the UK to showcase and celebrate our young apprentices on the global stage,” he said.
“It goes to show, that for every skill and every vocational area, we can and should celebrate excellence.
“The young people who have earned a place on Squad UK are ambassadors for our country and demonstrate how high quality apprenticeships can lead to successful careers.”
In the first week of October, 14 of the 37 skills will put forward competitors for EuroSkills, and squad members will also have a chance to show off and hone their skills at The Skills Show, which takes place from November, 13 to 15.
Click here to see some of the squad members in action during the selection process — see below for the full list of competitors.
|County||Region||Training Provider / College||Employer|
|Joe Hedley, 22||Wiltshire||South West||Qinetiq Apprentice Training School||Qinetiq Training School MOD Boscombe Down|
|Shayne Hadland, 23||Oxfordshire||South East||Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering Cosford||RAF Benson|
|Ryan Jones, 19||Leicester||East Midlands||Auto Restore||Auto Restore|
|James Crawford, 20||Belfast||Northern Ireland||RiverPark Training||Crawfords Accident Repair Centre|
|Jamie Betts, 20||Aberdeen||Scotland||Raytheon||Regency Car Sales|
|Elijah Summer, 19||Cardiff||Wales||Provq||Halfords Autocentre|
|Declan McGarth, 20||Co. Fermanagh||Northern Ireland||South West College||Bundoran Motors|
|Rebecca Wilson, 21||Co. Down||Northern Ireland||RiverPark Training||C M Accident Repair Centre|
|Patrick Quinn, 21||Co. Antrim||Northern Ireland||RiverPark Training||Quinn Specialist Vehicles|
|James Grayson, 21||Sheffield||Yorkshire & The Humber||Chesterfield College||S & G Coachworks|
|Leon Ivin, 20||Mors Motonmouthshire||Wales||College Gwent||Mager|
|Christopher Ballie, 20||Co. Down||Northern Ireland||South Eastern Regional College||BL Refrigeration and AC Limited|
|Joseph Conroy, 20||Berkshire||South East||Eastleigh College||Trane UK|
|Ryan Unwin, 21||Manchester||North West||Manchester College||Bruntwood|
|Ruth Hansom, 18||London||London||Westminster Kingsway College||The Ritz|
|Danny Hoang, 20||London||London||Westminster Kingsway College||The Grove Hotel|
|Confectionery / Pastry Cook|
|Sophie Bamford, 20||London||London||Westminster Kingsway College||William Curley|
|Mikaela Wright, 20||Glasgow||Scotland||City of Glasgow College|
|Daniel Harrison, 21||Auchterarder||Scotland||Buxton College||Gleneagles|
|Lucy Jones, 20||Hampshire||South West||Brockenhurst College||Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa|
|Olivia Whitbread, 20||Kent||South East||Westminster Kingsway College||The Bell Hotel|
|Rianne Chester, 21||Cheshire||North West||Warrington Collegiate||Akira Nails and Beauty|
|Amber Scholes, 18||Norfolk||East of England||Great Yarmouth College||Aphrodite Beauty Studio|
|Ashlea Gissing, 18||Suffolk||East of England||Great Yarmouth College||Rosie’s Beautician & Day Spa|
|Eleni Constantinou, 21||Caerphilly||Wales||Tina Constantinou|
|Abigail Moreton, 20||Herefordshire||West Midlands||Reds Hair Company||Reds Hair Company|
|Lucy Knight, 19||Bristol||South West||City of Bristol College||Samuel David Hairdressing|
|Jasmine Field, 19||Berkshire||South East||Fashion Retail Academy||Marks and Spencer|
|Catherine Abbot, 18||Berkshire||South East||Fashion Retail Academy|
|Ashley Goult, 19||London||London||Fashion Retail Academy|
|Abigail Beekes, 19||Surrey||South East||Fashion Retail Academy|
|Danielle Scanlon, 19||Surrey||South East||Merrist Wood College||Bunches and Pots|
|Zoe Rowlinson, 19||Oxfordshire||South East||Warwickshire College||The Garden|
|Louisa Cooper, 20||Staffordshire||West Midlands||South Staffordshire College||School Farm Shop|
|Ben Pritchard, 20||Essex||East of England||The Goldsmiths’ Company||Emson Haig|
|Hugo Johnson, 18||West Sussex||South East||The Goldsmiths’ Company||RTFJ|
|Tylor Ansell, 20||Kent||South East||The Goldsmiths’ Company||Cartier|
|Health and Social Care|
|Hayley Edwards, 17 (will be 18 at time of competition if selected)||Cleveland||North East||Middlesbrough College|
|Georgina Ravenscroft, 19||Merseyside||North West||Knowsley Community CollegeKings College London|
|Amy Mitchell, 18||Staffordshire||West Midlands||Newcastle –under-Lyme College|
|Ashley Eyley, 21||South Derbyshire||East Midlands||Burton College||Toyota|
|Luke Elsmore, 19||Caerphilly||Wales||Newport University||Industrial Automation and Control|
|Alex Scott, 21||Newport||Wales||Newport University||Industrial Automation and Control|
|Hayley Ramadhar, 18||Staffordshire||West Midlands||Black County Technical College|
|Naomi Stephenson, 19||Co. Down||Northern Ireland||South Eastern Regional College|
|Mechanical Engineering CAD|
|Andrew Beel, 20||Glasgow||Scotland||New College Lanarkshire||Pacson Valves|
|Alex Elton, 19||Warwickshire||West Midlands||North Warwickshire & Hinckley College||Clamonta|
|Michael Watson, 20||Bristol||South West||City of Bristol College||GKN Aerospace|
|Steven Castle, 19||Bristol||South West||City of Bristol College||GKN Aerospace|
|John Reid, 19||Elgin||Scotland||Elgin Training Unit||Historic Scotland|
|Sam Turner, 18||Leeds||Yorkshire & The Humber||York College||The Dean and Chapter of York|
|Connor Crawford, 18||Argyll||Scotland||Elgin Training Unit||Historic Scotland|
|Mirella McGee, 20||Kent||South East||The Building Crafts College||The Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral|
|Plumbing and Heating|
|Shane Brannagan, 20||Co. Down||Northern Ireland||Southern Regional College||Self – Employed|
|Gary Doyle, 19||Co. Down||Northern Ireland||Southern Regional College||Kieran Trainor|
|John Peerless, 22||Harrow||London||Middlesex University|
|Calum Knott, 21||London||London||Middlesex University|
|Andy Smith, 20||Chester||North West||Toyota Manufacturing UK||Toyota Manufacturing UK|
|Robyn Clarke, 21||Chester||North West||Toyota Manufacturing UK||Toyota Manufacturing UK|
|Thomas Beardsley, 20||North Yorkshire||Yorkshire & The Humber||Chesterfield College||National Grid|
|Reece Taylor, 21||Co. Durham||North East||Derwentside College||Dyer Engineering|
|Kurt Rogers, 20||Doncaster||Yorkshire & The Humber||Newcastle – Under – Lyme College||Alstom|
|Sheet Metal Technology|
|Jack Higgins, 19||Birmingham||West Midlands||Wolverhampton College||Radshape Sheet Metal Ltd|
|Harley Brian, 19||Staffordshire||West Midlands||KMF||KMF|
|Ryan Murphy, 19||Stoke on Trent||West Midlands||KMF||KMF|
|Construction Metal Works|
|Christopher Hanson, 20||Bradford||Yorkshire & The Humber||City Training Bradford||Richard Allan|
|Gethin Jones, 19||Llandysul||Wales||Coleg Sir Gar||Morris Fabrication & Welding|
|Josh Proctor, 19||Cumbria||North West||Furness College||BAE Systems|
|Jonathan Gill, 20||Co. Down||Northern Ireland||CAFRE||Historic Royal Palaces|
|Matthew Beasley, 20||Cheshire||North West||Beesley Landscapes|
|Aaron Jamieson, 20||Co. Down||Northern Ireland||CAFRE||Lawn + Border Landscapes|
|Adam Ferguson, 18||Co. Antrim||Northern Ireland||CAFRE|
|Owain Jones, 20||Gwynedd||Wales||coleg meirion dwyfor||H B Daverport|
|Mark Hawthorne, 21||Co. Down||Northern Ireland||South Eastern Regional College||Trainor Contracts|
|Simon McCall, 20||Carmathernshire||Wales||Coleg Sir Gar||Jones & Johnson|
|Dominic Hicks, 20||Pembrokeshire||Wales||Pembrokeshire College||Keating Joinery Ltd|
|Dale Hodgins, 21||Gloucestershire||South West||OCVC||Oakleigh Joinery|
|Painting and Decorating|
|Curtis Baker, 19||Doncaster||Yorkshire & The Humber||Doncaster College||Togel Contractors|
|Brendan Magee, 20||Co. Down||Northern Ireland||Southern Regional College||Ryan O’Gorman Painting & Decorating|
|Connor Lambton, 18||Cumbria||North West||Furness College||Horrocks|
|Louis Wilkinson, 20||East Sussex||South East||Sussex Downs College||Owen Contractors|
|Ryan Stevens, 19||Shropshire||West Midlands||Shrewsbury College||Craig Chatwood Building Contractors|
|Jason Whitehead, 21||Barnsley||Yorkshire & the Humber||Barnsley College||Barratt Homes|
|Connor Cutsforth, 21||Hull||Yorkshire & the Humber||Hull College||Beal Homes|
|Plastering & Dry Wall Lining|
|Robert Johnson, 21||Middlesbrough||North East||Redcar & Cleveland College||Classic Plaster Moulds|
|Nathan Roblin, 21||Ammanford||Wales||Ross||DJ Plastering|
|Ian Magee, 18||Co. Antrim||Northern Ireland||Belfast Metropolitans College||Gordon Scott|
|Wall and Floor Tiling|
|Martin McLaughlin, 18||Derry~Londonderry||Northern Ireland||North West Regional College|
|Daryl Dailly, 20||Renfrewshire||Scotland||City of Glasgow College||DNA Tiling Specialists|
|Edward Harringman, 20||East Sussex||South East||Chichester College||Harringman Cabinet Making|
|Steve Pickton, 20||West Sussex||South East||Chichester College||Grech and Grech|
|Sam Brister, 20||Buckinghamshire||South East|
|Adrian Canning, 21||Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland||Northern Ireland||North West Regional College||AC Electrical|
am Falconer, 20
|Derry~Londonderry||Northern Ireland||North West Regional College||Falconer Electrical|
|Theo Webster, 20||Devon||South West||Petroc||KA & TD Williams Ltd|
|IT Network Administration|
|Richard Miller, 19||Motherwell||Scotland||New College Lanarkshire|
|Bartosz Durma, 19||Bedfordshire||East of England||Barnfield College|
|Daniel Levings, 18||Hampshire||South East||Highbury College|