Record number of NI students set to compete at ‘WorldSkills’ UK Finals

A record number of further education students have been selected to take part in the WorldSkills UK finals in November.

Sixty-three students from Northern Ireland’s Further Education Colleges will travel to   regional venues across the UK to compete in a wide range of competitions including automation, mechatronics, beauty therapy, robotics, construction skills and culinary arts.

Southern Regional College has the second largest number of participants of any College in the UK, with 25 students selected to participant in the finals in November.

The UK’s top students and apprentices will compete for gold at six host campuses. The colleges are Barking & Dagenham, Belfast Metropolitan College, Blackpool & The Fylde, Cardiff & Vale, Edinburgh, and Middlesbrough.

The annual WorldSkills UK competition gives individual students the opportunity to test their knowledge and skills against the very best in the UK.

Louise Warde Hunter, Chair of the Further Education Colleges Principals’ Group said:

“We are incredibly proud of all our students who have been selected to compete in the WorldSkills UK competitions. Their dedication and talent for their chosen course is a real reflection on the fantastic abilities of students in further education across Northern Ireland and we are thrilled to be able to display that on a national level. I pay tribute to lecturers and staff across the six regional Colleges for the support and guidance provided to all participants.  Our students’ success is a testament to the high quality teaching and mentoring that takes place across the Further Educations sector in Northern Ireland.

“Belfast Metropolitan College is especially excited to welcome students from across the UK to our campuses as we host a number of the ‘Skills Olympics’ finals. It is a welcome opportunity for our College to showcase the world class campus resources on offer that support our students gain their qualifications, as well as building further connections with colleagues across the UK in the further education sphere.

“All six colleges wish every student the best of luck in their competition finals in November and we look forward to welcoming finalists from across the UK to Belfast as part of the finals.”

Patrick Sheerin from Southern Regional College who will compete in the Mechatronics category said:

“I am delighted to be partaking in this year’s WorldSkills Mechatronics UK finals. It is a fantastic opportunity for me to represent my college, showcase the skills and knowledge I have gained during my studies & training and meet other competitors who are like minded.

“I can’t express enough how grateful I am for the amount of support the lecturers have provided throughout this journey. WorldSkills is an added bonus of attending my local further education college and it gives me an experience I wouldn’t normally have which I hope will help in my next career steps post-education. I am really looking forward to joining my fellow students at this year’s final in November and hope to bring home gold to the college.”