14 talented students from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) have reached the national finals of WorldSkills UK and will compete in November for the chance to join Team UK on an international stage at the ‘Skills Olympics’ in Shanghai in 2022.
The students will compete among 400 of their peers from all over the UK, who will test their skills in over 60 competitions at 25 different venues for the chance to win bronze, silver and gold medals. The medal ceremony will take place on 26 November 2021 as part of Steph McGovern’s Channel 4 ‘Packed Lunch’ TV show. NWSLC is proud to have been named as host for the national finals in digital media production and visual merchandising, which will take place at its Hinckley Campus.
There are NWSLC finalists competing in four of the competitions. Jake Benson, Reece Todd, Ryan Maguire and Frankie McCarthy will test their skills in digital media production within the creative arts and media category. Ella Nicholas, Owen Chattaway, Abbie Simpson, Megan Shields and Madeleine Lock will compete in the visual merchandising category. Beauty therapy students Mia Harper, Laura Vyse, Aisha Khalifa, and Grace Elliot are finalists in the creative make-up category. Samuel Abbott will compete in the joinery category of the construction competition.
Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, who is also deputy chair and trustee of WorldSkills, said: “We’re delighted to congratulate all our students who have worked so diligently to practice their skills in a number of disciplines, successfully showing that they can compete on a national stage.
“Enabling young people to access the skills they need to succeed in work and life has never been more important. The WorldSkills UK competition experience helps to open students’ eyes to the exciting career opportunities available to them once they complete their college studies.
“We are very pleased to have been named as hosts for two competitions within the creative arts and media category and look forward to welcoming students from other colleges across the UK to our specialist creative arts Hinckley Campus.”
Ben Blackledge, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of WorldSkills UK said, “I want to offer my congratulations to all the finalists. After a year without competitions due to the pandemic, it was really encouraging to see so many people back involved this year. Our competitions and competition-based development programmes equip apprentices and students with the lifelong, world-class skills that will help increase UK productivity and competitiveness.
“We are really excited to be taking the show on the road this year with finals hosted by colleges, training providers and employers across the UK. We hope seeing the finals will inspire young people to keep developing their technical and employability skills and recognise what can be achieved by developing excellence through skills.”
Alumni from NWSLC are already training to represent the UK on the world’s stage at the biannual WorldSkills competition in Shanghai in October 2022. Former student and Nuneaton chef Chloe Lloyd-Hughes will compete in the culinary arts category, while Ellie Ruff will take on challenges in visual merchandising. Both are members of the prestigious WorldSkills UK Talent Development Programme after previously excelling in its national skills competitions. WorldSkills data shows that skills competitions make a real impact on students’ future opportunities with 90% of previous entrants claiming that their career progression improved after competing and 86% stating their personal and employability skills had improved.
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