From education to employment

WorldSkills national finals here we come!

Nine current and former students from @GowerCollege Swansea have been named as national finalists at WorldSkills UK, clearing the way for them to compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in November. They are:

  • Jack Lewis (Restaurant Service)
  • Emma Hill, Danil Timakov, Tomos Hopkins and Scott Tavner (Industrial Electronics)
  • Joel Farrant and Luke Ball (Laboratory Technician)
  • Megan Evans and Cara Morgan (Forensic Science)

The students are now in training at the College’s Tycoch campus for their respective competitions.

In total, over 400 students and apprentices will battle it out across 64 different disciplines to be crowned national skills champions from 9-19 November.

“Over 3000 young people registered to take part in the UK-wide competitions back in March so we are delighted to have nine students represent the College at the next stage – the national finals,” says Dean of Faculty Cath Williams. “All are now working exceptionally hard to train and prepare for their competitions and we wish them all the best.

“This will be an amazing opportunity for them, allowing them to really stretch themselves, develop their skills, compete with the best of the best within their specialised fields, and represent the College on the national stage.”

For the Hospitality and Catering department, having Jack Lewis in the national finals makes this the sixth consecutive year they’ve had a Restaurant Services competitor at that top level.

Jack follows in the footsteps of former students Ryan Kenyon (Silver), Scott Mears, Trixie Belle-Ewing, Collette Gorvett (Medallion of Excellence), Paulina Skoczek (Silver), Paige Jones (Bronze), Ruben Johnston and Connor Trehar, many of whom now work within the industry.

Electronic Engineering has a similarly strong track record when it comes to skills competition success. Despite the disruption of the past two years due to the pandemic, their students have continued to bring home medals. In November 2020, at a virtual training event hosted at Tycoch and organised by WorldSkills, medals were presented to Rhys Watts (Gold), Ben Lewis (Silver) and Liam Hughes (Silver).

The same three students had also been victorious at the previous year’s live event at the Birmingham NEC, where Liam took Gold, Rhys took Silver, and Ben was Highly Commended. In 2018, Jamie Skyrme took the Gold in Industrial Electronics after undertaking a challenging set of competition tasks including fault finding, electronic design, programming and prototyping.

In the sciences, this year’s four competitors are following in the footsteps of former student Catherine Jones, who took the Gold for Forensics in 2019.

In addition to completing a HNC in Applied Science and training for WorldSkills, both Joel Farrant and Luke Ball are also undertaking apprenticeships with Tata Steel, and worked extra hours to support the company over lockdown.

“This is a fantastic achievement by both employees and we are really excited to watch them compete in November, flying the flag for the Welsh steel industry,” says Matthew Davies, Technical Training Advisor, Learning & Development, Tata Steel.  
“I would like to extend my thanks and congratulations to Gower College Swansea. Not only have they recognised the potential and talent of these two students, but they work extremely hard in getting all our apprentices through the Level 3 and Level 4 programmes which we at are extremely grateful for. It’s a pleasure to work alongside them.”

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