Success for all at Skills Competition Wales
This month marks the end of Skills Competition Wales which has seen success for students, apprentices and young people across the nation.
More than 1,200 students competed in 51 competitions across Wales, with 71 gold award winners across the categories.
Backed by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund, Skills Competition Wales is a series of events held in colleges across the country, designed to celebrate vocational skills and create highly skilled, talented employees for the Welsh workforce.
Students, apprentices and young people competed across a wide range of different vocations from welding and accountancy to photography and hairdressing.
Those who are successful have the opportunity to go on to be shortlisted for the UK Squad, competing against the world’s most talented young people at the WorldSkills international final in Shanghai, China in 2021.
Ben Thomas, 21, who is studying level two fitness instructing, competed against 17 other students from across Wales.
Ben said: “Competing in the coach competition was a big success for me that has brought me closer to achieving my goal in making a real difference to people.
“Last year I was struggling with both my physical and mental health and turned to fitness. I got a personal trainer, Zak Hearne, who helped me lose three stone in three months which had a hugely positive impact on my mental health.
“Being able to make the same difference with other people is something I want to achieve in the future through personal training.
“For me, it’s all about pushing people to achieve great things and showing people that they can do anything if they put their mind to it and aim high.”
Kaisha Madeley, 18, who is studying motor vehicle mechanics, competed against 31 other students across Wales.
Kaisha said: “Competing in auto technology taught me how to work independently and trust my own knowledge to complete tasks whilst also learning how to focus in a competitive environment.
“The tasks included engine diagnostics, a full vehicle inspection, assessing electrical faults and a shift gear removal.
“I started my apprenticeship at the Welsh Ambulance and Fire Service the week after the competition and the experience I gained from the competition has really helped me with checking and fixing the ambulances on site.”
Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates said: “Skills Competition Wales is such an important event, allowing multi-talented young people the length and breadth of Wales to put their skills to the test, building on their excellence and experiences across various fields with the opportunity to then progress and compete at UK national and international level.
“It also gave the opportunity to show the breadth of talent we have here in Wales and to celebrate the Welsh companies who are nurturing and reaping the rewards of such highly skilled, talented employees. Ensuring Wales has the skills needed for economic success has long been a priority for me personally and for the Welsh Government more broadly and it’s fantastic to see skills acknowledged in this way.
“I would like to say well done to everyone who has competed this year and add my congratulations to those who won gold awards. Best of luck to the winners in the next stage of the competition and I look forward to seeing them prosper in their future career.”