Welsh competitors from North Wales have been awarded 11 medals for showcasing outstanding talent in their industry during this month’s WorldSkills UK National Finals.
The WorldSkills UK National Finals saw over 400 young people from across Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland battle it out in a series of challenges to be named best in the UK at their vocational skill.
Team Wales came home triumphant, with 51 out of 115 strong Welsh competitors winning medals, including 8 gold, 21 silver, 15 bronze, and 7 highly commended.
In addition to winning Gold in Restaurant Services, North Wales students excelled in STEM, and scooped medals in Aircraft Maintenance, Automotive Finishing, Industrial Robotics, IT Support Technician and Welding.
The official results were announced at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall during a medal ceremony, with the city also hosting a series of national competitions at colleges, independent training providers and universities.
Yuliia Batrak (pictured above) is originally from Ukraine but currently lives in Colwyn Bay. She won Gold in the Restaurant Services category this year. Yuliia said:
“I feel incredibly proud to have won a gold medal at this year’s WorldSkills UK National Finals. I felt a mixture of excitement and nervousness during the competitions, but it was such an amazing opportunity.
“I have been able to develop my skills to world-class standards and I have loved representing Wales on a national scale. I would definitely recommend other young people to consider entering the competitions to develop their skills and confidence.”
Aiden Williams from Caernarfon competed in the Aircraft Maintenance category this year.
He said: “Competing for my country felt great. It was a massive achievement for me, and I’m really looking forward to the future. Competing in skills competitions has improved my ability to work under pressure and deliver high-quality work under strict timeframes, which will prepare me for work outside of the standard curriculum.”
Theo Holloway works in Deeside and competed in the CNC Milling category this year.
He said: “Skills competitions are exciting because they allow you to put your skills to the test, compete against other talented people, and learn from the experience.
“The thrill of the competition, the opportunity to test your skills and push you to your limits, and the camaraderie among participants are all exciting aspects. The most significant advantages of competing are the opportunity to excel, improve your skills, and gain valuable experience.”
Partly funded by the Welsh Government and run by a dedicated network of colleges, work-based learning providers and employer-led organisations, WorldSkills UK aims to inspire and upskill future generations by developing young people’s vocational skills while celebrating their achievements.
Competitions begin at a regional level with Skills Competition Wales which is coordinated by the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project, and progress through to national and international competitions.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “I’m thrilled to congratulate Team Wales on their remarkable success at the WorldSkills UK National Finals. Team Wales has once again demonstrated their excellence, emerging as a triumphant nation with an impressive haul of 51 medals, underlining the dedication and talent within our country.”
“Skills competitions not only celebrate individual achievements but also reflect our commitment to nurture the talent of young people across Wales to become the highly skilled workers of the future.
“We’re committed to supporting the next generation, providing opportunities for them to showcase their abilities, expand their horizons and accomplish national recognition. Congratulations to all who took part.”
Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “It is fantastic to see Team Wales triumphing at the WorldSkills UK National Finals once again this year.
“Our finals not only celebrate the best in young talent but also provide a vital opportunity to see how the skill development in the UK stacks up both domestically and against our international neighbours.
“Skills will continue to be a key differentiator for business both at home and abroad and through our programmes we are working to ensure that all apprentices and students across the UK can gain access to high-quality technical education and apprenticeships that lead to real success for them and the UK as a whole.”
For more information on WorldSkills UK and how to start your journey as a competitor, tutor or employer in Wales, visit https://inspiringskills.gov.wales/.