More than 500 participants from across the country took part in the annual WorldSkills UK LIVE event at NEC Birmingham over the weekend.
Learners and apprentices from Cambria – which has sites in Wrexham, Deeside, Northop and Llysfasi – picked up five medals in a wide variety of categories, from sheet metalwork to graphic design.
Jessica Bruce, who works at Salon One 20 in Wrexham, won gold for Hairdressing, while silver awards were achieved by Carwyn Roberts in CNC Milling, an apprentice at Airbus, and Sam Darby-Moorhouse for Graphic Design.
David Duncan turned up the heat on his competitors with a bronze in the Welding section, and Charles Samson, James Blackwell and Nathan Griffiths from Magellan Aerospace achieved bronze in the Manufacturing Team Challenge.
Oliver Artell-Bolland (Sheet Metalwork) and Gareth Butler (CNC Milling) were highly commended by the judges in their disciplines by scoring above average in a year which saw standards rise to an unprecedented level across all categories.
And Lewis Bolt achieved third place in a brand-new demonstration skill: Motor Vehicle (Competition for Vehicle Inspection).
“Every year the standard at WorldSkills UK LIVE gets higher and higher, and every year we rise to the occasion,” said Coleg Cambria chief executive, David Jones.
“Congratulations to those who won medals, you have made us all extremely proud, and the same goes for every Cambria representative taking part over the three days.
“To even get to this level you have shown yourselves to be among the very best in the country, and I know you will all go on to have successful futures in your chosen careers.”
Not only the learners represented Cambria at the competition; five training managers and staff were among the scrutineers.
They were Tony Commins (Construction Metalwork), Daytun Unitt (Manufacturing Team Challenge), Alex Robinson (Electrical Installation), Ruth Payton (Performance Coach – Beauty Organising Team) and Adam Youens (CNC Milling).
Coleg Cambria are also the organising partner for WorldSkills UK beauty competitions: Beauty Therapist, Beauty Therapy Practitioner, Creative Media Make-Up, Commercial Make-Up and Nail Technician, managing them from regional heats through to the national finals.
Rona Griffiths, Deputy Director for Learner Experience and Enterprise at Coleg Cambria, thanked the learners, their families and lecturers for the support given throughout, and in the build-up, to the popular contest.
“It’s a real team effort, and that reflects the culture at Cambria,” she said.
“We have again punched above our weight, but it’s no surprise because everyone works so hard, individually and as a group, to represent the college on the national stage.
“This was the highest standard of competition ever seen at Worldskills UK LIVE, and for us to perform to such an incredible level under pressure is amazing.
“The way the learners supported one another, and other competitors who were not even in their categories, is victory in itself – they are all role models and a credit to Cambria.”
Ben Blackledge, Deputy CEO of WorldSkills UK, added: “This is a life-changing moment for these young people. They have already won regional competitions and now their National Finals – they are the new generation of high-fliers that will give UK employers a competitive edge.
“We couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them – the standard of competition could not have been higher.”
Coleg Cambria now waits to hear whether members of its team will be invited to join Squad UK, which will travel to Shanghai in 2021 for the international WorldSkills tournament.
Visit www.worldskillsuk.org for more on WorldSkills UK LIVE.
For more on Coleg Cambria and its participation in the competition, visit www.cambria.ac.uk/worldskills
NOTES: WorldSkills UK LIVE attracted more than 80,000 young people gearing up for a vocational pathway to work. More than 500 apprentices and students competed in over 70 different disciplines – battling to be the best in the UK. Taking part in WorldSkills UK Competitions equips young people with the world-class skills needed to help UK businesses better compete globally. Those taking part in the competitions were also hoping to secure the opportunity to represent the UK at the WorldSkills Finals, known as the ‘Skills Olympics’ in Shanghai in 2021.