From education to employment

Gold medal-winning students celebrate skills at Houses of Parliament

the Houses of Parliment

Gold-medal winning students from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College have attended a special reception at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster hosted by Skills Minister Robert Halfon MP to celebrate their success in the 2023 national finals of WorldSkills UK.

The event, on 22 January 2024, highlighted the role that apprenticeships and technical education play in helping students to achieve well and progress in their chosen careers. The college’s five Gold medallists were Lee Barnett, William Clark and Jade Oakley who led the foundation media skills competition. In the foundation catering and restaurant service categories, Sophie Trevitt and Keira Paterson secured the Gold medal positions.

In total, students from NWSLC collected 12 medals in the national finals putting the college at the top of the table for foundation skills in the UK. In addition to five Gold medals, students won one Silver and six Bronze medals overall.

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

“We’re very grateful to Robert Halfon for hosting us at this special event. Our students have really enjoyed the experience of visiting the Houses of Parliament and we hope to have demonstrated to them what a special achievement it is to win a Gold WorldSkills UK medal.

“Skills competitions like these are designed to raise aspirations and motivate our students to build their confidence and self-esteem and to improve their employability skills. We are always focused on infusing learning with excitement enabling students to combine the achievement of qualifications with demonstrable practical success. As we saw in our latest results, students often go on to exceed expectations based on their prior learning and are able to demonstrate mastery of a skill and enjoy the comradeship of competing with their peers.

“The college’s medal tally last year was a fantastic result for our students, and we are delighted to have excelled in the foundation skills categories in particular as these were first conceived by NWSLC in 2015 when they were originally known as ‘inclusive skills’ competitions.

“Congratulations to all our students who worked so hard to achieve such fantastic results and we hope that our Gold medallists enjoyed their day in Westminster. Special thanks are due to their tutors who have helped to keep them on track and provided them with so much support and encouragement.”

NWSLC students are getting ready for the early stages of the WorldSkills UK 2024 competition which opens in February. College alumni and former painting and decorating apprentice Hattie Parnham continues to compete as a member of Squad UK for a place in the international WorldSkills competition due to be held in Lyon in September 2024.

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