Youngsters from across the country choose Stoke on Trent College to prepare for European competition.

Youngsters from across the country have chosen Stoke on Trent College to brush up on their painting and decorating skills for a European competition.

Jordan Charters from Edinburgh and Jordan Jeffers from Northern Ireland are being put through their paces by Stoke on Trent College’s tutor Peter Walters, who represents the country as a World Skills Tutor and mentor.

Young people from all over Europe will meet in Gothenburg to compete for the European title in 35 vocational skills. Painting and Decorating forms part of the section of Construction Installation and Building Technology.

The youngster’s final aim is to represent their country in the Bi-annual World Skills competition which is to be held in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

20 year old Jordan Charters, from West Linton, Edinburgh, is an apprentice with his Dad George Charters. His work varies from basic painting and decorating to wallpapering or even airless spraying. He said: “The experience has been fantastic. I’ve met more people than I ever imagined and gained life experience good and bad. Good being I’m more confident with strangers and learned to stand on my own two feet. Bad experiences being breaking valuable objects by accident or even sleeping in and seeing the consequences.   The highlight for me has to be coming third at the UK Skills Show and being selected for squad GB to potentially compete at World Skills in Abu Dhabi. It’s so hard but so rewarding!”

Jordan Charters has won Apprentice of the year at his college twice in a row and was winner of the Scottish Skill Build Competition as well as being placed Bronze at the Skill Build 2015 final – The Skills Show.

“My main focus is on getting the World Skills spot. There’re only three of us in training for it but just one of us can go, and I’m determined to make it.”

Jordan Jeffers, from Northern Ireland is self-employed and equally determined to win a place in Abu Dhabi. The student from Southern Regional College won the Crown Trade Decorator of the year award in 2014.

Peter Walters, World Skills Tutor at Stoke on Trent College said: “All the young people who have earned a place on Team UK are worthy ambassadors and show the great things you can achieve. They are sent through test projects 90 days before the event and have to work through the brief, matching colours and working accurately! We are busy planning the creative piece for Gothenburg, and have been working through ideas, but they need to be kept under wraps until the event!”

While both the youngsters will be taking part in the Euro Skills event in Gothenburg, Peter has the unenviable task of choosing between them to represent their country at the World Skills competition in Abu Dhabi. It’s a difficult task and the marking difference could come down to a fraction of a centimetre in their work. He does believe that whoever takes part, benefits enormously from the professionalism they achieve, as well as working in front of an audience of up to 180 thousand people over the event!

“It’s great that Crown Paints are our sponsor for the event, it allows the youngsters to participate and experiment without worrying about material costs. The youngsters technical and employability skills improve as a result of taking part in skills competitions such as these. Not only does it increase their confidence but encourages team working, helps with time management and the ability to work under pressure!”

The Euro Skills competition takes place in Gothenburg from the 1st to the 3rd of December 2016.   Meanwhile students from Stoke on Trent College will be participating in a number of activities in the Skills Show event at the NEC in Birmingham in the middle of November.

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