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Welsh talent recognized as WorldSkills announces squad hopefuls for Kazan 2019

First published:
16 December 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Christopher Caine, 18, Balaz Sparing, 19, Tom Harris, 19, Sam Everton, 18, Chloe Griffiths, 18, Kate Louise Evans, 19, Daniel Morgan, 18, Thomas Roberts, 19, and Ellie Hanley, 17, have all made the longlist of 49 candidates from across the United Kingdom who will have the opportunity to compete for a place in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills Kazan 2019.

They will now spend the next 12 months honing their skills before the formal selection process for WorldSkills Kazan 2019 takes place at The Skills Show 2017. Returning competitors will compete alongside finalists from the 2017 national finals, who will also be eligible for a place in Squad UK if they meet the selection criteria.

Squad UK for WorldSkills Kazan 2019 will be announced in November 2017. Those selected will then commence the 18 month training and development programme run by WorldSkills UK. The programme includes a number of milestones, including the selection of Team UK, which the individuals will need to meet to progress.

Held every two years, the WorldSkills international competition is the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world and sees around 1,000 apprentices and learners, aged 18 to 25, from 76 countries come together to compete for medals in more than 40 different skills categories, including electrical installation, welding, web design, hairdressing, cooking and bricklaying.

Along with the rest of the competitors, Wales’ successful nine all earned their places in Squad UK after excelling in the national finals of the WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions which were held at The Skills Show in Birmingham last month.

Participants took part in competitions over 3 days, demonstrating their skills and knowledge in front of an audience of more than 75,000 people. Wales came home from The Skills Show with its best ever clutch of medals - 45, including 11 gold, 17 silver, 14 bronze and 3 highly commended - placing it top of the leader board.

Welcoming the announcement, Skills and Science Minister, Julie James said:

“This is fantastic news for Wales and testament of the high-calibre skills being nurtured here. I applaud every Welsh participant who qualified for selection and extend my congratulations to Christopher, Balazs, Tom, Sam, Chloe, Kate Louise, Daniel, Thomas and Ellie on their incredible achievements in reaching the longlist for Squad UK.

“By competing in the WorldSkills Competition, Wales, as part of Squad UK, is able to share best practice in apprenticeships, further education and skills, with countries around the world, raising standards on a global scale.

“Furthermore, by using the knowledge gained from competing at WorldSkills, we know we are working to international benchmarks, which is good for the wider Welsh economy because, if they haven’t already, those young people will be shortly entering the workplace and those enhanced skills will help businesses to grow and compete more effectively in a global marketplace.”

Of all the UK regions, Wales ranks top for the number of competitors selected to take part in Squad UK.

Further information about all UK Squad competitors can be found on the WorldSkills’ website (external link).