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Northern Ireland is the top region for Worldskills – Farry

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry today congratulated the 20 Northern Ireland Squad UK trainees during a visit to the Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham.
Thursday, 15 November 2012

Commending the trainees who will now compete for places on Team UK for the next WorldSkills competition in Leipzig, Germany in 2013, the Minister said: “Northern Ireland’s representation on Squad UK is the highest of any region in the UK. This is testament to the high standard of vocational training in our colleges and training organisations and to the commitment to excellence shown by our young people.

“All 20 local squad members deserve the highest of praise for their achievement in making it as far as Squad UK to demonstrate how highly skilled they are. I wish each squad member every success in the training ahead and I look forward to following their progress in the lead up to WorldSkills Leipzig 2013. This is an excellent achievement for Northern Ireland and surpasses the Squad results for the last WorldSkills competition when Northern Ireland had 14 competitors in nine skill areas.”

The Minister toured the Skills Show and met with the 29 Northern Ireland training finalists who are currently competing at the show across 17 skill areas.

Recognising the importance of skills competitions, the Minister said: “This event coupled with Northern Ireland’s strong representation clearly raises the awareness and recognition of the importance of vocational skills and demonstrates their vital importance to economic growth. Skills competitions are a valuable tool in raising awareness of opportunities that exist in skilled professions. Indeed, these competitions leave a legacy in terms of the value of skills attainment and aim to inspire the web developers and engineers of tomorrow.”

The members of Squad UK were chosen from among the UK’s most talented apprentices, employees and learners after they competed in tough selection events held throughout the UK last month. They will now spend the next year preparing to take on the very best from across the world, undergoing a specialised training programme supported by a dedicated Training Manager for each skill.

Squad UK competitors will compete for coveted places in Team UK at further selection events which will be held throughout the UK in March 2013.Team UK will then continue intensive training before competing on the world stage at WorldSkills Leipzig which takes place from 2 to 7 July 2013.

Northern Ireland triumphed at WorldSkills London 2011, winning gold, silver and bronze medals as part of Team UK. WorldSkills is the biggest international skills competition in the world. Held every two years in one of its 61 member countries/regions, the competition sees around 1,000 young people aged 18 - 23 from across the globe come together to compete for medals in more than 40 different trades and skills including Electrical Installation, Mobile Robotics, Web Design, Cooking and Landscape Gardening.

The Skills Show, the UK largest Skills and Careers event, is taking place from 15 - 17 November 2012 in the NEC, Birmingham.

Notes to editors:

1. About Squad and Team UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) manages the UK’s entry into the WorldSkills Competition under the name of WorldSkills UK.

The members of Squad UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 are chosen from amongst the UK’s most talented apprentices, employees and learners aged 18 to 23, after three day selection events which took place during summer 2012. The competitors that took part in the Squad UK selection events were invited to compete after excelling in the WorldSkills UK National Competitions or other industry events.

Members of Squad UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 will undergo a specialised training programme, supported by a dedicated Training Manager in each skill. They will compete for a place in Team UK by taking part in further selection events which will be held throughout the UK in March 2013.

The UK is currently ranked fifth in the WorldSkills ranking ahead of France, Germany and China after Team UK secured five Gold, two Silver and six Bronze medals at WorldSkills London 2011. This was the UK’s best ever result in the 62 year history of WorldSkills.

WorldSkills Leipzig takes place from 2 to 7 July 2013.

2. Squad UK WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 – Northern Ireland members:

Competitor Name

College

Skill

Mark Woods SWC Wall and Floor Tiling
Graham Burns SRC Wall and Floor Tiling
John Morgan SRC Wall and Floor Tiling
John Mulligan SWC Wall and Floor Tiling
Adrian Canning NWRC Electrical Installations
Ken Wilson BMC Plastering and Dry Wall Systems
Ryan O’Gorman SRC Painting and Decorating
David Beattie SWC Joinery
Philip Glasgow SWC Carpentry
Aidan Glass NRC Bricklaying
Adam Lyness SERC Refrigeration and air conditioning
Jonathan Gill CAFRE Landscape Gardening
Matthew Bradley CAFRE Landscape Gardening
Aaron Jameson CAFRE Landscape Gardening
Matthew Quinn Riverpark Training AutoBody Repair
Gary Greer Riverpark Training Car painting
Patrick Quinn Riverpark Training Car painting
Rebecca Wilson Riverpark Training Car painting
James Overend Formerly NRC now Copelands UK Ltd Mechatronics
David Cargill NRC Mechatronics

3. For a photograph and media queries please contact the Department for Employment and Learning Communications Branch on 028 9025 7466. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.