The clock is well and truly ticking with 880 hours to go before the UK’s top apprentices jet off to Brazil to take on the best of the rest at WorldSkills 2015 — and FE Week and City & Guilds want to wish them all the very best in the quest for golden glory.
Yes, in 37 days Team UK will be in São Paulo to find out whether all their hard work and training has paid off and if they’ve got what it takes to be crowned best young person in the world for their skill.
Our 41 young men and women (click here or on image below) will compete in 38 different skills, from hairdressing and stone masonry to confectionery and IT security from August 11 to 16 (that’s just 53,280 minutes away, by the way).
As the pressure mounts, the UK’s official delegate and chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency and the Education Funding Agency, Peter Lauener also wished the competitors good luck in their final preparations.
“Representing your country on the world stage is no easy feat. It takes hard work, determination and a high level of skill,” he said.
“As part of Team UK, you have displayed all of these attributes.
“As you now go on to take part in the WorldSkillsfinals in São Paulo, you will need to draw on every aspect of your training and experience to be the best you can.
“Best of luck to everyone in the UK team — I look forward to seeing a number of UK medal winners.”
Our competitors will be among 1,230 from more than 60 countries, taking part in 50 different vocational skills.
They will be looking to repeat, or even better, the successes of WorldSkills 2013, in Leipzig, Germany, where Team UK finished tenth in the medals table with two gold, one silver and three bronze, along with a whopping 17 medallions for excellence (handed out when competitors reach a set international standard).
And David Cragg, deputy chair of WorldSkills UK organisers Find a Future, also offered his best wishes to our 2015 crop.
He said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to every member of Team UK. They are ambassadors for our nation and I wish them the best of luck as they prepare to compete against the best in the world.”
The event will be staged five kilometres from the centre of Sao Paulo at Anhembi Parque, which at 400,000 square feet is one of the largest event centres in Latin America.
And it won’t just be the competitors and their trainers who are flocking to Anhembi Parque, as 800 volunteers are expected to help keep the show on the road, along with 200,000 visitors — the largest audience in WorldSkills history.
Mr Cragg said it was hoped the competition would inspire more young people to take a vocational route.
“Skills competitions showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through high quality further education, skills training and apprenticeships,” he said.
“Through skills competitions and the wider work of Find a Future we want to provide every young person with the chance to unlock their potential and get excited about the world of work.”
WorldSkills runs from August 11 to 16, with competitions taking place across four days from August 12. Keep up with all the action before and during the competition with FE Week – on feweek.co.uk or on Twitter with the handle @FEWeek and the #GoWSTeamUK hashtag.