Today, Team UK fly out to WorldSkills 2019 in Russia.  Here’s our short, but handy explainer about the competition, competitors and what chance Team UK has of topping the medal tables at the closing ceremony in 10 days time.

What is WorldSkills?

WorldSkills is a biennial competition that will this year take place (from Friday 23 to Monday 26 August) in the Russian city of Kazan and feature over a thousand competitors from over 60 countries taking part in 56 competitions based around trade skills.

The competition will be officially opened on Thursday 22 and Russian president Vladimir Putin is expected to attend.

A closing ceremony is on the following Tuesday, when WorldSkills will be handed over to representatives for WorldSkills 2021, which will be held in Shanghai.

Who is in Team UK?

Team UK is fielding 37 competitors in 32 competitions and will be competing for gold, silver or bronze medals in such varied disciplines as visual merchandising, restaurant service, and plastering and drywall systems.

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The team members were whittled down from 150 apprentices and learners from all around the country, after they competed in heats in March and April.

Once the final team was chosen, the competitors were put through their paces at a boot camp at Loughborough University, where they are trained by a number of professional coaches.

Competitors were taught how to diet, exercise and sleep to get them in prime condition and then each morning in Kazan, the competitors will have to be up at 6.30 for Yoga and stretching.

They have also been trained up for the competitions by training managers, many of whom are former competitors themselves and have helped the competitors get acquainted with what will be expected of them in Kazan.

FE Week visited two training days in the final weeks before the competition: in Gloucester, with hairdressing hopeful Phoebe McLavy; and Toyota UK in Derby with mechatronics team mates Jack Dakin and Danny Slater.

What are the UK’s chances?

At the last WorldSkills competition, held in Abu Dhabi in 2017, the UK came tenth in the total medal points chart, with 21,261 points.

Team UK earned one gold medal, 3 silver medals, 3 bronze medals and 13 medallions for excellence.

The gold was won by Kaiya Swain, after she was voted the world’s best young beauty therapist.

This time around, the UK is hoping to come in the top 10 of countries yet again.

FE Week is the exclusive media partner of WorldSkills UK and will be reporting live from Kazan.

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  1. GO TEAM UK!

    Good luck in the competition and I hope you all enjoy it and have a great time. You’re here through pure merit and should be so proud to be representing your country, your trade – but most importantly yourselves. Great work, and well done you.

  2. Good luck to our fabulous Team UK! All the competitors have fantastic stories from the regional, national, European and world competitions and the competitors including many apprentices come from an amazing array of providers, employers, sectors and regions. There is a long list of benefits of competition for everyone involved and we must build on this progress for the future.

  3. Chris Roper

    Good luck to an amazing team. We are sure you will make the whole country proud, but most of all enjoy the experience. From all at New City College, Havering colleges.

  4. UK has a great team building on a fantastic legacy of performance.
    I wish all members of the team the best of luck. It’s a real honour to represent your country.
    The Institute of the Motor Industry puts much effort into World Skills automotive with a very high calibre team from across the sector.
    The IMI is at the forefront in promoting apprenticeships.
    Indeed, IMI has the leading Apprentice ROI Calculator for employers to estimate for themselves the clear financial benefit of taking on an apprentice before hiring them!
    I wish the UK team great success.

  5. Good luck to all of our excellent competitors! Having volunteered at every Skills Show, I know how much hard work goes into getting to this point, but don’t forget to have a great time and appreciate how far you’ve all come!

  6. Jo Maher

    Best of luck to the amazing #TeamUK! Your dedication and commitment are an inspiration to all of us, I know you will do yourselves and the UK proud. Boston College is behind you all of the way!

  7. Good luck to Team UK competing at WorldSkills 2019 in Russia. We wish every member of the team the best of luck! You can do it! Let’s show the rest of the world our exceptional skill sets our learners and apprentices have here in the UK! #GOTeamUK #DoitforBritain #UKSkills #WorldSkills

  8. Carole Stott

    #teamUk. Amazing skills; amazing talent; amazing young people. Best of luck as you compete with the best in the rest of the world. We are cheering you all on back here in Bath and throughout the UK.

  9. Good luck Team UK message, from Eileen Milner, ESFA Chief Executive: “Sending the very best of luck to Team UK, competing in WorldSkills Kazan 2019 which starts today. This is an exciting opportunity, and an honour for those taking part, to represent the UK and demonstrate the UK’s commitment to skills development on the global stage.

  10. Patrick Craven

    Good luck from City & Guilds to all involved in the Team UK effort and particularly to our team members – the skills athletes of the future UK Plc. In a fortnight when so much media effort has been focused on acheivements in A Levels and GCSEs we should shout from the rooftops the pride we have in our skills base. You honour our country, our skills education system and our employers. #GoTeamUK

  11. Good luck to all the WorldSkills 2019 competitors in Kazan, especially Team UK’s 37 participants, from everyone at the Education and Training Foundation (ETF). Congratulations must be given to all the FE teachers and trainers who have helped these apprentices and learners get to the level needed for the competition.