8 December 2015

emfec member colleges have been celebrating over the past couple of week as 10 learners have been decorated with WorldSkills UK medals.

From across the East Midlands, emfec member college students have collectively received two gold medals, six silver medals and two bronze medals, with three learners also taking highly commended honours.

Vicky Bowyer, from Buxton and Leek College, was awarded a gold medal in the Nail Enhancements category after stunning judges with her acrylic and opaque nail work. Vicky also works for Little Eden salon in Leek, and word of her success has already spread around the local area.

Vicky said:

“My clients have all been fearing I might put my prices up but I won’t be doing that. I love what I do and, although I started out doing hairdressing after I left school, I much prefer doing nails because I think the results last for much longer and I’ve built up a good clientele in the salon.”

Joining Vicky with a gold medal is Jack Chambers from Chesterfield College who won his title in the Joinery category. Jack works for Penine Woodworking and will now train for a place on the UK squad, with the hope of securing a place in the 2017 Abu Dhabi WorldSkills competition.

Chesterfield College also enjoyed success in the Automotive Refinishing category with Jake Brewster receiving a bronze medal for his work refinishing a car, despite usually working on motorbikes.

Coming side-by-side on the podium in the Advanced IT Support Technician category was Ehran Donmez (North Lindsey College) and Kalum Pepperday (West Nottinghamshire College), taking the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Their competition included testing candidates’ ability to configure IT hardware and software to meet customer requirements. Ehran and Kalum completed a series of practical tasks which demonstrated their abilities and skills in PC systems and networking.

Ehran said:

“We didn’t find out what we had to do until the morning of the event. We had to restore and troubleshoot networks, set-up new clients and servers.

“I was nervous before the competition, there were so many people there, once I got going and it was going to plan I really enjoyed it.”

Also taking silver medals at the competition were Charlie Madden (Bricklaying, Leicester College), Claire Holden and Andrew Kelly (Environmental Science, North Nottinghamshire College), Jack Radford (Wall and Floor Tiling, New College Nottingham), and Stefan Hubble (Painting and Decorating, West Nottinghamshire College).

Congratulations are also in order for Katie Canning (Nail Art, Chesterfield College), Catherine Paget (Painting and Decorating, Lincoln College) and Stuart Peach (Plastering, West Nottinghamshire College) who were all awarded highly commended in their categories.

The UK competition took place at the Birgmingham NEC at the end of November with over 1000 young people aged 18 to 25 competing in more than 40 different skills.