April 15, 2024

31 young people from North Wales set to fly the flag in UK’s biggest skills competition

Wales is set to have a strong team of 112 students and apprentices battling it out for the top spot at the upcoming WorldSkills UK National Finals.

Of the 442 from across the UK, 31 young people from North Wales have been selected following their performance during a series of challenging regional competitions.

This year, a quarter of the finalists are Welsh.

Successful competitors will be competing throughout November for gold, silver, and bronze medals, with over 50 WorldSkills UK National Finals taking place over nine different venues.

The competition will culminate in a celebratory ceremony held in Greater Manchester, where the winners will be crowned the best in their trade.

From Industrial Electronics in Swansea to Confectionary and Patisserie in Cardiff and Aircraft Maintenance in Deeside, young people from across Wales will be testing their skills in 37 different categories.

As well as boosting their skills and confidence, competitors who impress under the pressure of a national final could be in with a chance of representing the UK at the “Skills Olympics” in Shanghai 2026.

Airbus UK apprentice Aiden Williams is competing in the Aircraft Maintenance category. He said: “To be selected as a national finalist feels great. It’s a massive achievement for me, and I’m really looking forward to the new challenge ahead.

“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.”

Alongside the show of competitions, competitors and visitors will be able to talk to employers and industry experts to gain career advice and guidance while at the events.

Those unable to attend the Manchester-based events and competitions will be able to watch online through a special broadcast featuring action from the finals as well as interviews and advice from previous winners, experts, and career advisors.

Paul Evans, Project Director of Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales, said: “I’d like to congratulate the Welsh competitors that have made it through to the National Finals. We couldn’t be prouder to have so many talented young people representing Wales and our skilled workforce.

“Whether people are following the events in person or catching up online, we hope the finals inspire other young people to get involved and develop their own skills to world-class standards.

“Good luck to all the finalists from myself and the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales team. Da iawn, pawb!”

The WorldSkills UK competition-based development programmes are designed by industry experts so that young people, including those with learning disabilities or additional needs, can get work-ready.

In a survey carried out by past entrants, 90% said that their careers progression had improved, and 86% stated that their personal and employability skills had improved after participating in skills competitions.

 

Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, said:

 “As a nation we are committed to investing in future generations, and skills competitions are an effective way to upskill young people and provide them with the tools they need to build successful careers in the future.

“The annual success we continue to witness from our Welsh competitors demonstrates the force of talent and potential in Wales as well as the top-notch instruction and training they receive. Competitions significantly increase the delivery and development of skills throughout the nation.

“The WorldSkills programme helps to produce a talented workforce that is fit for the future, not just by allowing young people to master their practical skills in a competitive atmosphere and showcase their potential on a global stage.”

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/.