Prime Minister Gordon Brown offered his best wishes to Team UK at the official send-off for WorldSkills Calgary 2009 in London today.

In a letter addressed to each of the 26 young men and women representing the UK in the biggest skills competition in the world, Mr Brown praised their "exceptional" talent and passion.

He said: "On behalf of the UK Government, I'd like to offer you my personal congratulations for securing your place in Team UK, and to thank you all for the hard work and commitment you've shown in your training and preparation to date. Representing your country on the world stage is by no means a small thing, but I hope you will feel immense pride when you are standing in front of the crowd at the opening ceremony waving our flag.

"Your talent is exceptional and your passion for your skill is extraordinary. After months and months of training, Calgary is the most important stage in your World Skills journey, and whilst it will be an enormous challenge, I know you will go that extra mile and show even more focus and drive on each day of the competition.

"You're an absolute credit to all young citizens of the United Kingdom, and an exemplar to your industry. You are lucky enough to have the support of your families, employers and trainers and I know that they'll all be there even in person or in spirit cheering you on every step of the way. Sadly I'm unable to join you in Calgary myself, but I do want to wish you all the very best for a great competition. I know you'll do us all proud, and I look forward to hearing about your successes on your return."

FE Minister Kevin Brennan, who was at the launch personally and will be flying to Calgary next week, said: "The talent that's in the UK team that I've seen already, looking at the competitors that we have, is simply phenomenal, and I've no doubt that the team is going to do Britain proud when we're out there in Calgary next week."

Reflecting the Prime Minister's words to address Team UK, Mr Brennan added: "The Government sees this as just as important as all the other international events we have because your skills, your talent and enthusiasm are the future of our country ... and its future success depends on young people like yourselves."

The team is managed by UK Skills, which aims to raise the profile of skills in the UK. It also works in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government, as well as key partners from education, government and industry.

Calgary will be the 40th WorldSkills competition to date, and will kick-off from September 1 to 6, 2009. FE News is in Canada to bring you every detail of Team UK's success.


 

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