From education to employment


Twenty-four talented students from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College will compete across the Greater Manchester region later this year after it was announced that they have reached the national finals of WorldSkills UK.

The students will compete in November for the chance to join Team UK on an international stage at the ‘Skills Olympics’ in France in 2024.

NWSLC is especially proud to have more students than any other college competing in the foundation skills competitions. Designed for those with special educational needs and disabilities, these were originally conceived and first started by NWSLC. Twelve students have reached the final stages of these competitions and will showcase their skills in media, motor vehicle, catering and restaurant service, and health and social care.

The remaining finalists will compete in the creative media makeup, graphic design, and network systems categories, and two teams of four will face their peers in the digital media production skills competition.

The students are among 400 from all over the UK who will test their skills in 51 competitions at venues across Greater Manchester during finals week from 14 November for the chance to win gold, silver, and bronze medals. The results will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony on Friday 17 November 2023 at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC, who is also Chair of WorldSkills UK, said,

“We’re delighted to congratulate all our students who have worked so diligently to practice their skills in so many competition areas, successfully showing that they can compete on a national stage.

“Enabling young people to access the skills they need to succeed in work and life has never been more important. The WorldSkills UK competition experience helps to open students’ eyes to the exciting career opportunities available to them once they complete their college studies.

“Hosting the competitions across Greater Manchester will provide our students with a fantastic opportunity to travel within the UK and we look forward to supporting them as they prepare for the finals.” 

Meanwhile, gold-medal winner from WorldSkills UK in 2022, apprentice painter and decorator Hattie Parnham from Wigston, has reached the final selection stages and hopes to secure a place to represent the UK at WorldSkills in Lyon next year. This internationally respected competition is held biannually and rewards excellence in technical challenges. Team UK will face competitors from 80 countries for places on the podium.

Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said,

“I offer my congratulations to all of the national finalists. We know our competition-based training programmes deliver real value and benefits to the young person taking part, but the programmes also provide opportunity for the development of their educators and trainers in delivering training that meets the latest industry standards.

“The young people that take part in our national programme are a true inspiration and demonstrate the skills we have in the UK. As well as giving them the chance to shine we will be sharing their career journeys and success stories, so we can inspire more young people, from all backgrounds, to see that an apprenticeship or technical education is a first-class route to success in work and life.”

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