Team UK has triumphed picking up no less than 20 medals, 1 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze and 13 medallions of excellence at a spectacular closing ceremony in front of 15,000 people and the World’s media at the ad Du Arena. This medal places Team UK 10th in the medal table at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, Team UK finished 7th at the previous WorldSkills in Sao Paulo, but they brought a much larger squad in Brazil.
Among the medallists were a beauty therapist, visual merchandiser, cabinet maker, plumber and an auto repairer.
Kaiya Swain, aged 22, from Stone Cross, in East Sussex was voted the World’s best young beauty therapist.
Kaiya who works at Kaiya Rose Beauty, from Pevensey said: “It was an absolute honour to represent my country. This is a dream come true, I never expected to come out on top.”
Silver winners were: Architectural Stonemason Archie Stoke-Faiers aged 22 from Uplyme, Devon, Car Painter Daryl Head, aged 21 from Swindon and Visual Merchandiser, Catherine Abbott, aged 21 from Reading.
Bronze winners were: Plumber Dan Martins, aged 20 from Northampton, Cabinet Maker Angus Bruce-Gardner, aged 22, from Kendal, Cumbria and Auto Repairer Andrew Gault, aged 20 from Cookstown, Northern Ireland.
Team UK finished 10th in the medals table ahead of Germany and was the smallest team to make the global top 10.
Medallions of Excellence, which are awarded to those that achieve the world class standard in their skill, were presented to:
Liz Forkuoh in Restaurant Service
Betsy Crosbie in Mechanical Engineering CAD
Josh Hunter in Bricklaying
Jordan Charters in Painting and Decorating
Conor Willmott in Joinery
Alexander Wood in Jewellery
Bridie Thorne in Hairdressing
Ruth Hansom in Cooking
Adam Ferguson and Will Burberry in Landscape Gardening
Tom Revell and Sam Hillier in Mechatronics
Josh Peek in Welding
Joseph Massey in Aircraft Maintenance
Shane Carpenter in IT Network Admin (Cyber Security)
This year’s competition was seen by many as a litmus test for the nation’s ability to cope when the free movement of skilled labour is withdrawn in 2019.
Dr. Neil Bentley, CEO of WorldSkills UK said: “These young people have done the nation proud.
“If we celebrate Team UK’s success and use it to inspire others to follow in their footsteps - the future of the UK is in safe hands. “
Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Anne Milton MP, who visited the competition to support WorldSkills UK and the team, called upon parents to take note of the results saying:
”I have been blown away by Team UK. They have done fantastically well – this is the UK competing on the World stage for skills and achieving great things.
“There will be huge celebrations when they come home. To get to this level is brilliant.
“There is a message here for parents – university is not the only option – the opportunities are boundless if they overcome any bias that they might have. We must ensure that the young apprentices here become an inspiration to others.
“WorldSkills UK is doing a fantastic job supporting these young people – with thousands of hours of input. We need to put all that they are doing - the ethos of this competition, the spirit of these apprentices- into a bottle and sprinkle it across the UK.”
Having triumphed through regional heats, a national final, a Team UK selection process and months of intensive training, 34 young apprentices (or former apprentices) – completed 4 days of competition at the 44th WorldSkills Finals on Sunday (October 15th).
More than 1,200 young people, from over 50 nations, who are specialist in 51 different disciplines from hairdressing to aircraft maintenance plumbing to 3D Games design, competed for gold, silver and bronze medals.
Team UK is supported by WorldSkills UK, which has pioneered techniques and methodology from elite sports training which have been honed to help produce the very best exponents of dozens of disciplines and trades.