Pembrokeshire College, Merlins Bridge, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA61 1SZ


Wales’ Youth Triumph at National Skills Competition

Pembrokeshire College Medallists

Over 280 talented young people from across Wales have been recognised for their outstanding vocational skills at this year’s Skills Competition Wales awards, securing 96 gold, 92 silver and 97 bronze medals.

Pembrokeshire proudly emerges as a beacon of excellence, seizing an impressive array of accolades at the Skills Competition Wales. With sheer determination and unwavering commitment, participants clinched an outstanding tally of achievements, including three coveted gold medals, eleven silver medals, and three bronze medals.

Furthermore, Pembrokeshire’s dedication to excellence was duly recognised with the prestigious Ecolab Excellence in Hygiene Award for Hospitality learner Leo Luke. Not stopping there, Pembrokeshire also clinched the esteemed title of Best in Region for Childcare thanks to Level 3 Childcare student Tamika Simms, a testament to our learner’s commitment and the dedication of staff in supporting future generations.

Pembrokeshire College is pleased to acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments of their students at the Skills Competition Wales. Luke Gibbons, Celyn Lewis, and Mia Parkin secured bronze medals in Electrical Installation, Childcare, and Beauty Therapy, respectively, demonstrating their expertise. The collaborative effort of Tom Jenkins, Drew John, Jak Matera-Byford, and Reuben Swindlehurst (SLÂK) in Popular Music earned them a deserving silver medal, alongside other silver medallists such as Ffion Mabey, Tamika Simms, Cerys Rogers, Kaya Majica, Luke Roberts, Connor Johnson, and Logan Russ. Emma Wilkinson, Erin Owens, and Ross Muller claimed gold medals in Life Skills, Beauty Therapy, and Horticulture, showcasing their exceptional talent and dedication. These achievements underscore the hard work and commitment of the College’s students, solidifying Pembrokeshire College’s reputation for excellence in education and skills development.

Furthermore, Ysgol Preseli pupil Geraint Thomas earned a gold medal in the 14-16 years category for Construction Skills, demonstrating the breadth of talent within Pembrokeshire’s educational community.

These remarkable achievements stand as a testament to the talent, hard work, and dedication of the participants and tutors, solidifying Pembrokeshire’s reputation as a powerhouse in skills and innovation.

The announcement follows a series of competitions that took place in January and February, where a record-breaking 1,129 representatives from every corner of Wales competed to be named the ‘country’s best’ in their sector. Competitions covered skill areas including culinary arts, web development, aeronautical engineering and renewable energy.

This year’s competition also saw a steady and encouraging rise in female participation in the traditionally male-dominated construction categories, including carpentry, painting and decorating, and renewable energy, making up 20% of the competitor numbers – an increase of 10% since 2020.

The awards ceremony took place at the ICC Wales in Newport on Thursday 14 March, where medallists received well-deserved recognition for demonstrating their skills and hard work, surrounded by friends and family.

In addition, numerous ‘watch parties’ across Wales allowed competitors and their families to celebrate collectively across the nation and Pembrokeshire College celebrated the success of their students in the Merlin Theatre.

Gold medallist, Erin Owen, who competed in the Beauty Therapy Practitioner (Body) category, described her competition experience:

“I am absolutely thrilled to have won the gold medal, I was secretly hoping to be in the top 3 but was overwhelmed to win Gold.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout the competitions, and I am looking forward to competing in WorldSkills UK later this year.”

Erin’s tutors celebrated her momentous moment with her:

“We are not surprised that Erin won the gold medal as she is an outstanding student who excels in all her work. She has proved that hard work and determination pays off. As a team we are extremely proud of Erin’s achievements and have no doubt she will continue to succeed at every given opportunity. Ardderchog Erin – cer amdani! “

Skills Competition Wales, run by the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project, serves as a launchpad for participants to compete in prestigious national and international events such as WorldSkills UK, EuroSkills, and WorldSkills International. Funded by the Welsh Government, the project aims to nurture talent and drive excellence across different skill sectors by collaborating with a dedicated network of colleges, work-based learning providers and employer-led organisations.

Reflecting on the recent success at Pembrokeshire College, Principal Barry Walters said:

“Pembrokeshire College is delighted to have scooped 17 medals from the Inspiring Skills Wales competitions last night. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were achieved by 17 learners across 10 different vocational routes. Thanks to the staff for their support for the learners’ competition journeys. We are all really proud of their achievements.”

Young people in Wales can also compete in the upcoming SkillBuild and WorldSkills national and international competitions subject to a further round of applications. Registrations for this year’s Skill Build competitions close on 1st April 2024 and WorldSkills UK competitions close on the 28th March 2024.

Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, said: “Skills Competition Wales serves as the perfect platform for our youth to push their boundaries and showcase their talents.

“One of my priorities for a stronger economy is to focus on young peoples’ skills and creativity, giving them the support they need to achieve ambitious futures here in Wales.
“Having had the privilege of supporting and attending numerous competitions, including this year’s Renewable Energy competition hosted at the Senedd, I’ve witnessed first hand the remarkable talent pool we have in Wales. It’s truly inspiring to see these young individuals take pride in their work and continuously strive for excellence in their chosen fields.
I extend my heartfelt congratulations to each and every competitor for their outstanding achievements so far. Each of you has a very exciting journey ahead.”

As Wales looks ahead, Lyon, France, will host the 47th International WorldSkills competition, where Welsh competitors will represent Team UK to be in with a shot at being crowned the best in the world at their vocational skill.

For more information on skills competitions in Wales and to be in with a chance to represent your country in 2024 and 2025, visit

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