Stoke on Trent College painting and decorating lecturer, Pete Walters, met with Secretary of State Sajid Javid earlier this month as part of the 2016 WorldSkills UK competitions.
Pete was invited to the House of Commons in his role as Chief Expert for the WorldSkills UK painting and decorating team alongside world-class apprentices who will represent the UK from across the country.
The WorldSkills UK competitions, which are run annually in over 60 skill areas, were officially launched on 1 March at the House of Commons.
Secretary of State Sajid Javid said: “I am delighted to meet our WorldSkills International finalists – they have taken on the world and shown how young British workers are gaining the skills they need to succeed.
“I hope many more will enter to compete in the WorldSkills UK events showcasing the next generation of skilled young people who are enabling UK businesses to better compete on the world stage.”
The event, which was hosted by Nadhim Zahawi MP, Prime Minister’s Apprenticeship Adviser, was also attended by the world-class apprentices who represented the UK at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015, the world’s largest international skills competition. The apprentices shared their experiences of competing and how taking part had enhanced their apprenticeship programmes.
Shayne Hadland, former apprentice and engineer with the RAF said: “Competing at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 taught me many different skills that complemented my apprenticeship including performing tasks under pressure. Being able to work quickly to a high standard really helps with my job. I am a better rounded engineer as a result of WorldSkills UK and I would urge all apprentices to get involved in the competitions.”
More than 3,500 highly skilled young people registered to take part in WorldSkills UK Competitions in 2015, with almost 700 qualifying for the National Finals. Those who are successful at this year’s finals, held at The Skills Show from 17 to 19 November at the NEC Birmingham, will place themselves in contention for selection to Squad UK, which will then begin training towards WorldSkills Kazan in 2019.
Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “The WorldSkills UK Competitions are proven to enhance a person’s apprenticeship or training programme by enabling them to develop key character and employability skills. By using knowledge gained from competing nationally and internationally, we know we are working to benchmarks that will equip more young people with the right skills to help UK businesses compete better globally.”
The international WorldSkills Competition, which is held every two years, sees the world’s most talented apprentices and learners come together to compete in in over 45 different skills. Team UK achieved its best ever result at WorldSkills São Paulo, winning three Gold, four Silver and two Bronze medals, which placed the UK seventh in the WorldSkills rankings.
Entries for the 2016 WorldSkills UK competitions cycle will remain open until 7 April. Visit www.worldskillsuk.org