Two Pembrokeshire College students have made it through to Phase 4 of Squad UK Training which will see them embark on the WorldSkills UK Training and Development Programme with the hope of competing in EuroSkills in Budapest in September 2018 and Kazan in 2019.
Former joinery student Chris Caine and former hospitality student Sam Everton received golden tickets to compete at the WorldSkills UK Finals in Birmingham in November after picking up medals in the 2016 finals.
Since November both Chris and Sam have been on an intensive training programme supported by the Welsh Government funded project, ‘Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales’ and were recently announced as making the shortlist, following the WorldSkills UK week-long selection process. Chris is one of just two trainee joiners to have been selected for the training programme while Sam is one of three to be selected for the hospitality programme.
Formerly employed by Keating Joinery and now with Dominic Hicks, a former WorldSkills squad competitor who owns DH Joinery, Chris has been supported throughout his training with tools from Festool UK, the award-winning manufacturer of cordless power tools and site equipment. Craig Foster, End User Sales Manager at Festool commented: “Chris is thoroughly deserving of his place on the WorldSkills UK Squad. We are committed to supporting young talent and wish Chris every success as he progresses through the training programme.” Dyfed Training Group (DTG) recently presented Chris with a set of Lie-Nielsen tools which included a block plane, a shoulder plane and a spoke shave, “I can’t wait to use the tools given to me by DTG, they’re the best of the best and I am extremely grateful to the group for their support!” commented Chris.
Meanwhile, Sam will be perfecting his skills alongside the best chefs in the industry. Sam has already completed a placement at Michelin Star Restaurant James Sommerin in Cardiff and is now set to undertake a month long placement at three of the UK’s finest establishments: Raymond Blanc’s, Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons; Michel Roux Jr’s, Le Gavroche; and the world-famous five-star hotel, The Ritz London.
Following the announcement that both Chris and Sam had made it through to the WorldSkills UK Training and Development Programme, Pembrokeshire College Deputy Principal, Dr Barry Walters commented: “Every year we encourage our students to take part in skills competitions to put their skills to the test and to push themselves to be the very best in their chosen field. Chris and Sam are testament to how far hard work and determination can take you.
“We are incredibly proud of both Chris and Sam and owe a special thanks to their employers who have supported them throughout the last two years allowing them time to practise and to compete. Chris and Sam’s success reflects not only on their ability but also on the College lecturers who have taught them their skills and their employers who have continued to mentor them in the workplace.”
“We are excited to see how they both progress on the training and development programme and wish them every success.”