Two former Pembrokeshire College learners are among the UK’s best and brightest apprentices and students to have been selected to represent all four nations in Team UK at the ‘Skills Olympics’ in Russia.
Sam Everton and Christopher Caine join more than 30 young professionals from engineering, hospitality, professional services, construction, digital and IT who have cleared the highest hurdle in a two-year challenge to be the best in the World.
These skilled young people have already triumphed in regional and national competitions and had one more momentous obstacle to overcome at Team Selection events the length and breadth of the UK last week.
The results were revealed at Loughborough University which has a strong association with training Team GB for the Olympics.
Team UK will represent the United Kingdom at The WorldSkills Finals in Kazan, Russia in August (22-27). Chris will be competing in joinery while Sam will be competing in hospitality with them both hoping to be crowned the best in the world!
Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, CEO of WorldSkills UK, which selects and trains the team and uses their successes to promote skills across the country, said: “Think Olympic Games – but much more important to the economic future of the United Kingdom.
“This is a life-changing opportunity for all those involved.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these extraordinary young people who will be on the plane to Russia. They have worked tirelessly for weeks, months and years to be the best – they are a shining example to the next generation – let’s celebrate their spirit, commitment, and success.
“We are not only giving young people the opportunity to reach their full potential but we also believe that, working with them, we can transfer the insights gained from competing against other countries into the wider UK economy, driving up training standards for young people to world-class levels, giving a much-needed boost to productivity.”
College Principal, Dr Barry Walters added: “We are extremely proud of both Chris and Sam. To have two former students in the 32 strong UK team is an incredible achievement and testament to how hard Chris and Sam have worked to beat off competition from colleges and training providers across the UK.
“Each year we have students competing in the WorldSkills UK Finals in Birmingham but this is the first time that former students have been selected to compete on a world stage. We wish them every success and would like to extend our thanks to the dedicated staff who have supported them throughout the process along with their employers who are providing hands-on experience and advice as well as releasing them for training and competitions.”
More than 60 countries are sending elite teams to the Tatarstan Capital 800 km east of Moscow – to do battle and go for bronze, silver and gold in 56 different skills disciplines.
The event, dubbed the ‘Skills Olympics’, which takes place every two years, will be shown live on TV and streamed around the World (including the UK) – and change the lives and careers of those that compete.
At the last WorldSkills finals (2017) in Abu Dhabi, Team UK finished in 10th position and is hoping to replicate or better the result.