THIS month, a record number of young people from Wales will be competing in the WorldSkills UK National finals, making up over a quarter of the overall attendance.
The talented individuals will be competing to become UK Skills Champions across 45 different categories in six different locations from 14-18 November.
Cardiff and Vale College will be showcasing their high-class facilities by hosting 15 of the 63 National Finals including Digital Media Production, Aircraft Maintenance, and Health and Social Care.
The college will also be hosting all nine of this year’s Foundation Skills competitions, which are designed for students who have a statement of Special Education Needs (SEN) and/or disabilities.
WorldSkills UK supports young people to take part in competition-led training, assessment, and benchmarking, with competitors from all four nations competing against one another to achieve national acclaim in their chosen category.
Declan Morrisey, 20, was a gold medallist in last year’s Foundation Skills: Media competition and is now aiming to secure his second medal this year in the Foundation Skills: IT Software Solutions for Business category.
He said “WorldSkills competitions have given me confidence to do things that I didn’t think I was capable of until now. My coach, David, has helped me a great deal and pushes me to go the extra mile and really give it my all.
“If old me could look at myself now, I would’ve looked at myself in disbelief, laughed, and said ‘no way!’
“WorldSkills has changed my life for the better, and I think it has so many opportunities out there to help other young people too.”
David Jones, Learner Transition Coordinator at Pembrokeshire College, added, “WorldSkills competitions have allowed Declan and many of our other learners to upskill and realise what they are capable of achieving.
“Inclusive Skills competitions have given Declan the opportunity to showcase the super abilities he has; the inclusive and foundational skills competitions have allowed him to test himself and blossom within the safety of our support staff.
“It’s been so rewarding seeing his confidence grow, and I am so proud of how far he has come since starting with us at Pembrokeshire College.”
Wales’ Minister of Economy, Vaughan Gething stated: “The Welsh Government is committed to investing in our future generations. By providing our young people with opportunities to develop new skills, we’re providing them with the tools they need to build successful future careers. This will support them to be at the forefront of helping our Welsh businesses to innovate and grow.
“The WorldSkills competitions bring together some of the most creative, skilled, and driven young people in Wales, and help raise awareness of the power of skills to transform lives, economies, and society. I’m delighted a record-breaking number of Welsh competitors have made it to the finals and I wish all the competitors the best of luck, both in this important competition and for their future.”
The finals follow several National Qualifiers, where young people from across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been competing to demonstrate their top-class skills and expertise in their categories.
For those unable to attend the events in person, WorldSkills UK will be streaming the competition action and interviews with previous winners live.
Winners will be announced on Friday 25 November via an online broadcast hosted by the former apprentice and TV journalist Steph McGovern, who will be handing out medals from the studio of her Packed Lunch daytime show.
For more information on WorldSkills UK and how to start your journey as a competitor, tutor or employer in Wales, visit https://inspiringskills.gov.wales/
Details on how to watch the competition live stream will be shared ahead of the competition on the @WorldSkillsUKW Twitter page.