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30th Nov 2012

Our Apprentices Set To Shine At Skills Contest

NORTHERN Ireland’s representation on Squad UK for the WorldSkills competition in 2013 is the highest of any region, according to Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry.

Commending local trainees who will now compete for places on Team UK for the event in Leipzig, Germany, he said the high NI representation was testament to the standard of vocational training and the commitment to excellence shown by young people here.

“All 20 local squad members deserve the highest of praise for their achievement in making it as far as Squad UK to demonstrate how highly skilled they are. This is an excellent achievement for Northern Ireland and surpasses the Squad results for the last WorldSkills competition when Northern Ireland had 14 competitors in nine skill areas,” said the Minister.

“This event coupled with Northern Ireland’s strong representation clearly raises the awareness and recognition of the importance of vocational skills and demonstrates their vital importance to economic growth. Skills competitions are a valuable tool in raising awareness of opportunities that exist in skilled professions. Indeed, these competitions leave a legacy in terms of the value of skills attainment and aim to inspire the web developers and engineers of tomorrow.”

The members of Squad UK were chosen from among the UK’s most talented apprentices, employees and learners after they competed in tough selection events held throughout the UK last month.

They will now spend the next year preparing to take on the very best from across the world, undergoing a specialised training programme supported by a dedicated training manager for each skill.

Squad UK competitors will compete for coveted places in Team UK at further selection events which will be held throughout the UK in March 2013.Team UK will then continue intensive training before competing on the world stage at WorldSkills Leipzig which takes place from July 2-7, 2013.

Northern Ireland triumphed at WorldSkills London 2011, winning gold, silver and bronze medals as part of Team UK. WorldSkills is the biggest international skills competition in the world. Held every two years in one of its 61 member countries/regions, the competition sees around 1,000 young people aged 18 - 23 from across the globe come together to compete for medals in more than 40 different trades and skills including electrical installation, mobile robotics, web design, cooking and landscape gardening.

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