From education to employment

UK team amongst 48 countries competing in vocational skills competition.

The World Skills Competition 2007 gets underway in Japan today. For the 22 individuals who are representing the UK it is the journey of a lifetime, following stiff competition in a series of play-off events to make the final team.

WorldSkills is an international skills competition held every two years, where 48 member countries meet and compete in 40 different vocational skills, including Beauty Therapy, Web Design, Cabinet Making, Floristry and Engineering.

Accompanying the team to Japan are the expert volunteers who have been helping the competitors train for the competition. They will be supporting the UK team as well as sitting on the international judging panel.

David Lammy, Minister for Skills is proud that the UK’s 2007 WorldSkills team is ready for the tough competition ahead: “The 2007 UK WorldSkills team have each proven themselves to be among the best in the country at their respective skills, and through their achievements these young men and women are ideal ambassadors for vocational education and training. This country has world class skills and we are proud to show off the unbelievable talent amongst our young people in sector after sector across the economy.”

In four years time the WorldSkills competition will be held in London. In preparation for hosting this high-profile international competition, UK Skills is working with a number of partners in the public and private sectors to ensure that both the event itself, and the UK team, deliver award-winning performances in 2011.

Simon Bartley, chief executive of UK Skills, said “These young people have earned the right to represent the UK in Japan. Each one proved their abilities at the selection event earlier this year and has dedicated six months to perfecting their skills under the expert eye of their training manager. Now is their chance to test themselves against the best in the world and I wish them every success in doing so.”

According to Chris Humphries, director-general of City & Guilds and chairman of UK Skills: “The UK team will compete under extraordinary pressure on tasks and to standards that would challenge any top craftsman or woman of twenty years experience. To these 22 young UK champions, we should offer our heartfelt best wishes for their success in Japan next month, and the honour of a champions” welcome on their return.”

The following young people will be representing the UK in their respective skills:

Autobody Repair: Simon Noble from Billingham, Cleveland

Automobile Technology: Dan Glover from Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester

Beauty Therapy: Jade Kidd from Skegness, Lincolnshire

Bricklaying: Jonathan Bourne from Ball Green, Stoke on Trent

Cabinet Making: Gary Tuddenham from Alton, Hampshire

Car Painting: Jonathan Lloyd from Carnmoney in County Antrim

CNC Milling: Philip Jackson from Malvern, Worcestershire

Cooking: Graham Squire from Tooting, London

Floristry: Natalie Stanyer from Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent

Graphic Design: Harry Smith from Worthing, West Sussex

Hairdressing: Donna Leach from Cinderford in Gloucestershire

IT PC & Network Support: Andrew Critchlow from West Sleekburn, Northumberland

Joinery: Ben Ingersent from Somerton, Somerset

Landscape Gardening (Team): Keith Chapman from Hackforth,Yorkshire, and Timothy Lancaster from Guiseley, Leeds

Mechanical Engineering CADD: Michael Westlake from Burnham on Sea in Somerset

Painting and Decorating: Chris Blake from Livingstone, Scotland

Pastry & Confectionery: Will Torrent from Iver, Buckinghamshire

Refrigeration: Matthew Lander from Berry Brow, Huddersfield

Restaurant Service: Julie Doig from Auchterarder, Perthshire

Stonemasonry: George Plant from Cheadle, Staffordshire

Welding: Stuart Greer from Ulceby, Lincolnshire

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