Specialist colleges have launched their own national skills contest with two Shropshire students taking top prize in the national finals of the ‘Display your wares’ retail competition.

Derwen College retail students Robin Ferguson, 22, and Emily Gray, 21, impressed industry experts from The White Room, The Co-operative Food and Selfridges with their flair at the launch of an inclusive skills competition backed by Natspec, the membership body for specialist colleges.

The competitions are designed to allow students with disabilities to demonstrate their skills, passions and work-readiness.

The body’s chief executive, Alison Boulton, said: “We felt it was time for students from independent specialist colleges to be able to take part in vocational competitions as they are such a good way to prepare for work and independent living. They are also great fun!”

Featured image caption: Robin Ferguson, 22, and Emily Gray, 21 with 2011 WorldSkills retail merchandising gold medal winner Kirsty Hoadley, who now works for Selfridges and presented the medals

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