Young stars selected for Squad UK at WorldSkills
16 Jul 2012
The world's greatest names in sport may be taking centre stage at the Olympics, but the National Apprenticeship Service has announced that three young 'skills stars' employed by MBDA have earned a place in Squad UK for an international skills competition – WorldSkills Leipzig 2013. They will compete in the Electronics category, with the hope of winning a place in Team UK to compete against young people from all over the world.
The MBDA Squad UK members are:
• Gareth Humphries, 19, from Wigan
• Heather Peach and Michael Cox, both also 19, and apprentices from Wigan, who attend Wigan and Leigh College
Squad UK competitors were selected from amongst the UK's most talented apprentices, employees and learners after competing in a tough three-day selection event in June. They will now spend the next year preparing to take on the best from across the world, undergoing a specialised training programme, supported by a dedicated training manager for each skill. Ray Coyle is the training manager for electronics.
WorldSkills is the biggest international skills competition in the world. Held every two years in one of its 61 member countries/regions, the competition sees around 1,000 young people aged 18-23 from across the world come together to compete for medals in more than 40 skills, including Electrical Installation and Mobile Robotics.
Members of Squad UK will compete for a coveted place in Team UK at another selection event to be held in March next year. Individuals selected will then carry on training intensively with Team UK before heading to WorldSkills Leipzig, which takes place from 2-7 July 2013.
"It is a huge honour to have been selected as a member of Squad UK," says
Heather Peach. "I hope this opportunity will allow me to showcase how apprenticeships and skills can lead to successful employment and career opportunities. I know the next year will be tough as I will be in training, but I really hope the whole of the country gets behind Squad and Team UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013, like they do our sporting teams!"
Jaine Bolton, director at the National Apprenticeship Service and UK official delegate to WorldSkills International, adds: "I offer my support and congratulations to every young person that has earned a place in Squad UK. By competing in international competitions, the UK is able to showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through high quality further education, skills training and apprenticeships. This provides the inspiration for young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level."
The National Apprenticeship Service manages the UK's entry into the WorldSkills Competition under the name of WorldSkills UK. The competitors that took part in Squad UK Selection were invited to compete after excelling in the WorldSkills UK National Competitions and other industry events.
WorldSkills UK National Competitions reward real talent, and drive up levels of expertise in further education, skills and apprenticeships. Competitors from this year's WorldSkills UK programme will also be showcased at The Skills Show, which runs from 15-17 November at the NEC Birmingham and is a unique annual celebration that inspires people with exciting opportunities in further education, skills and apprenticeships.
Further members of Squad UK will be announced following a second phase of selection in September. For the list of Squad UK members announced today visit see below.
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