WorldSkills announces Shanghai finals replacement as UK field 35 learners

Cancelled Shanghai finals will be held across 15 countries instead, with the UK fielding 35 finalists.

Cancelled Shanghai finals will be held across 15 countries instead, with the UK fielding 35 finalists.

The global WorldSkills competition has lined up 15 countries to host finals this autumn to replace the cancelled Shanghai event – with Cardiff and Wrexham hosting two of the competitions.

The UK will put forward 35 learners to compete in the finals, it has been confirmed.

The WorldSkills Competition Special Edition – which brings learners from across the world in a host of disciplines to showcase their talents – had been due to hold the finals in Shanghai this October, but in May organisers called off the visit amid the country’s Covid-19 lockdown measures and ongoing prevention and control measures.

It has now been confirmed that the 61 finals will be split across 15 countries, with more than 1,000 learners taking part in total.

Two of those – aircraft maintenance and the manufacturing team challenge – will be held in the UK.

The aircraft maintenance final will be held from November 1-4 at the International Centre for Aerospace Training, part of Cardiff and Vale College, where 13 nations as diverse as Zimbabwe, South Africa, Canada, France and the United Arab Emirates will compete.

The manufacturing team challenge will be hosted by Coleg Cambria in Wrexham on the same days, featuring five nations.

It marks the first time the UK has hosted the global skills competition since Worldskills 2011 in London.

Neil Bentley-Gockmann, WorldSkills UK chief executive, said: “I look forward to welcoming young people from across the globe who are coming to the UK to go for gold.

“The WorldSkills competitions arena is a brilliant opportunity for the world’s most skilled students and apprentices to showcase their talents and to motivate and inspire more young people to make the most of their potential and develop their skills to world-class standards.”

WorldSkills UK has confirmed that 35 finalists across 29 skills will fly the flag for the UK at the finals in October and November, with welding, digital construction, lab technician and cyber security among disciplines they will be competing in.

The UK finished 12th in 2019 at the last event in Kazan, Russia.

Bentley-Gockmann said: “After the cancellations and disappointment of the past few years, young people from across the UK have demonstrated their resilience and will finally have the chance to get out there and test themselves against the world’s best.

“The WorldSkills competition arena is a huge opportunity not only to raise the profile and prestige of UK skills, but to also allow us to learn from other countries and transfer those insights to drive up training standards at home and boost the economy.”

The list of finalists is outlined below:

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