Students at Gower College Swansea (@GowerCollegeSwa) demonstrated their world-class electronic engineering skills this week when they took part in a virtual training event with students from across China. 

The event was the first of its kind to be held in Wales, and was organised by WorldSkills UK, the education and skills charity, supporting its programme to exchange best practice in skills development with countries around the world.

The two-day event (18-19 November) to share good practice, which also included a day of masterclasses, was initiated by the Department for International Trade and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security in China.

Taking part from Gower College Swansea were electronic engineering students Ben Lewis, Liam Hughes, Rhys Watts, Ryan Day and Marcus Drennan.  The virtual training event was designed by Steve Williams, a Curriculum Leader at the College who is also a WorldSkills UK International Training Manager for Industrial Electronics.

Parisa Shirazi, Head of Skills Development and International Skills Competitions, WorldSkills UK said: 

“WorldSkills UK is part of a global network of over 80 countries which are working together to mainstream excellence in skills development by sharing international insights and best practice.  By hosting virtual training events for young people in Wales, we are ensuring that despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic, they can continue to share ideas and learn from their peers around the world.  This is supporting them to develop the high-quality standard of skills that employers in Wales need to help boost industry and attract international investment.”

Gower College Swansea works closely with WorldSkills UK and enters its students into the charity’s UK-wide skills competition programme as part of its commitment to support students in developing world-class skills.

Rhys, Ben and Liam are all in training with WorldSkills UK, under the guidance of Steve Williams, with the hope of securing a place to represent the UK in Industrial Electronics at the WorldSkills Competition, known as the ‘skills Olympics’ which will next take place in Shanghai, China in 2022.

Rhys Watts said:

“Taking part in the competition and the masterclasses has been an incredible experience for me. It has given me such a confidence boost and I’m now really looking forward to the next stage and seeing where my skills can take me.”

Steve Williams said:

“Gower College Swansea has enjoyed a long, illustrious partnership with WorldSkills UK but this competition is quite unlike anything we, or indeed any other college, has done before. To be competing in real time with our counterparts in China is such an exciting step forward in terms of the student experience. It also gives us all an opportunity to share good practice, look at the differences and the similarities in how we do things, and form strong bonds with our contemporaries across the globe. With online and distance learning being all-important in the current situation, we are really looking forward to developing new and innovative ways of teaching and learning, in the classroom and beyond!”

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