Northern Ireland apprentices will know next month if they have secured places in the UK Squad for the next WorldSkills competition in Leipzig, Germany, 2013.
Seven local young people are already through to the biggest international skills competition in the world.
The local representatives so far are: Mark Woods, South West College, wall and floor tiling; Graham Burns, Southern Regional College, wall and floor tiling; Adrian Canning, North West Regional College, electrical installations; Ken Wilson, Belfast Metropolitan College, plastering and dry wall systems; Ryan O’Gorman, Southern Regional College, painting and decorating; David Beattie, South West College, joinery; Philip Glasgow, South West College, carpentry
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.
Held every two years in one of its 61 member countries/regions, the competition sees around 1,000 young people aged 18 to 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.
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.
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 to 7, 2013.
Northern Ireland triumphed at WorldSkills London 2011, winning gold, silver and bronze medals as part of Team UK. A gold medal in bricklaying was awarded to Philip Green, student at Belfast Metropolitan College and self-employed at DG Green and Sons, Lisburn. A silver medal in landscape gardening was awarded to James Cuffey. A Bronze medal in refrigeration and air-conditioning was awarded to South Eastern Regional College student, Stuart Millar from Loughgall.
In addition to the three medals, two students, Mark McGinty and Chris Downey, won Medallions for Excellence in mechatronics. This honour is awarded to those competitors who reach the world class level in their skills discipline.