Worldskills UK has announced the elite squad of skills competitors that will face off against challengers from around the world at the global Worldskills competition in Shanghai later this year.
Thirty nine students and apprentices have been selected through a gruelling run of domestic competitions and bootcamps in over 30 disciplines including welding, hairdressing, mechatronics and 3D game art.
Team UK will go up against their peers from all over the world over the intense four-day competition in October.
Worldskills Shanghai should have taken place last year but was delayed because of Covid 19 restrictions. This means our UK champions have had even longer to undergo Worldskills UK’s rigorous elite training regime in preparation for the competition.
“After the delays and difficulties of the past couple of years, we should all be proud of the skill and determination these young professionals have shown to get out there and fly the flag for the UK. They represent the very best in their field, but will have to be at the top of their game competing against their peers from across the globe,” Worldskills UK’s deputy CEO Ben Blackledge said.
But the competition isn’t just about bringing home medals.
Blackledge adds: ”We are not only giving young people the opportunity to reach their full potential but we also believe that we can transfer the insights gained from competing against other countries to drive up standards at home and boost the economy.”
The whole FE and skills sector will be wishing Team UK success in October against rival competitors from China, Germany, Australia, Switzerland and Japan.
Chief among them is skills minister Alex Burghart. He said: “I am delighted that these remarkable young people will soon be showcasing their talents and skills on the global stage – they should be so proud of their achievements to date and I look forward to cheering them on when they go for gold in Shanghai.”
Team UK has its sight set firmly on improving its medal position from the previous competition, held in Kazan, Russia in 2019, where it tabled in 12th place.
Competing in the aircraft maintenance category four years ago was Haydn Jakes. He was one of two gold medal winners from Team UK at the last competition and is now part of the UK training team. The University of Nottingham student’s win on the global stage also got him an MBE in the 2020 Queen’s birthday honours for services to Worldskills.
“You learn and gain so much from competing and going through the Worldskills UK programme,” Jakes said. “It’s like nothing you have experienced before and, as well as demonstrating you have the technical skills, you have to be able to keep focus and perform under pressure.”
Following in Jakes’ footsteps is 23 year-old Mona Nawaz, who will be competing in the digital construction category this year. The former New College Lanarkshire student, now at Balfour Beatty, said: ”I am ecstatic to have reached this level and been selected for Team UK. I can’t wait to get out to Shanghai and show everyone what I can do.”
Joining Nawaz is Kieran McShane, 20, from Burnley College who will be competing in the construction metalwork category and Team UK’s hairdressing champion, Grimsby Institute’s Ellie Mumby, 22.
Sai Patravu, a University of Manchester student, and Luke Jowett, from Walsall College, have their sights set on gold in the two-person cyber security competition. Patravu said he is “nervous about the next steps, but I can’t wait to take this to the next level and go up against the best of the best from other countries”.
Click below for the full table of Team UK members.