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WorldSkills finalists ready to fly the flag for Wales

Eight University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) students are training hard in readiness to compete at the national finals of this year’s WorldSkills UK competition-based development programme.

Five are students at the University’s Advanced Manufacturing Skills Academy and three finalists are studying Cyber Security and Network Infrastructure at the University.

They will join 500 finalists competing for gold, silver and bronze at the competitions, which will take place in venues across the four corners of the UK.

These competition venues are Barking & Dagenham, Belfast Metropolitan, Blackpool & The Fylde, Cardiff & Vale, Edinburgh, and Middlesbrough colleges, which will host a total of 62 finals in the week commencing November 14.

The national finals are designed to boost skills and confidence. Competitors who impress under pressure, could see themselves representing the UK at the “skills olympics” in France in 2024.

Lee Pratt, Head of UWTSD’s Advanced Manufacturing Skills Academy and Operations Director of CMB Wales said: “We are extremely proud of our students and their achievements so far in this year’s competition, the bar has been raised higher yet again! The standard from competitors across all the UK was exceptionally high so to have five AMSA students reach the finals is outstanding. We are now focusing all our efforts on preparing for the UK finals in Blackpool next month and we wish all our talented young engineers the very best.”

The UWTSD competitors are:

  1. Alfie salter – CNC Milling
  2. Cameron Quinn – CNC Milling
  3. Rhys Vincent – CNC Turning
  4. Rhodri Jones – CNC Turning
  5. Aroon Kanda – CNC Turning
  6. Daniel Carlson – Cyber Security
  7. Silvia Settle – Cyber Security
  8. Ezzulddin Alakkar – Network Infrastructure Technician

Kapilan Radhakrishnan, Academic Director of Applied Computing at UWTSD said: “Three of our Applied Computing students are through to the UK Finals which is a fantastic achievement both for the school and the students themselves. This shows the quality of teaching, training and support we are providing to our students to be competitive is at a very high level. The competition not only tests students’ technical skills and knowledge but enables them to develop transferable and interpersonal skills which are essential to being successful in their career. I wish all my students all the best for the Finals!”

Andrew John, AMSA senior technician added: “The apprentices have put in a lot of effort to date, and it clearly shows in the work they are producing. We will be doubling our efforts now with regards to training and hope to achieve another UK gold this year. We have a very high standard to maintain!”

WorldSkills UK Deputy CEO Ben Blackledge said: “I want to offer my congratulations to everyone who registered for our competitions this year, especially those who are now going on to compete in November’s finals.

“We are really excited to be taking the show on the road again this year with finals hosted by colleges across the UK. We hope seeing the finals in person or catching up with our online content will inspire more young people to develop their skills and have a go at one of our competitions next year.

“Our competitions and competition-based development programmes equip apprentices and students with the lifelong, world-class skills that will help increase UK productivity and competitiveness.”

Barry Liles OBE, UWTSD’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Skills and Lifelong Learning) said: “As a university we are pleased to have so many students achieving the required standards to compete at the UK finals, one step away from the World stage. It is also of significance that these students represent the university and the region in areas of key significance to the Welsh economy. We wish them the best of luck on their journey.”