Welsh competitors set to represent Team UK at global ‘Skills Olympics’

Four competitors from across Wales are set to take part in the WorldSkills Special Edition 2022, bringing together 1,000 competitors from 58 countries across Europe, North America, and East Asia.

The international competition will be hosted in 15 countries across the world – with Wales flying the flag as the UK’s official host at Coleg Cambria in Wrexham and Cardiff and Vale College in the capital.

Nicknamed the “Skills Olympics”, WorldSkills competitions are designed to inspire and upskill future generations by developing young people’s vocational skills and showcasing best international practices in apprenticeships and vocational technical education.

Coleg Cambria’s Bersham Road campus will host the Manufacturing Team Challenge from Tuesday 1st November, where Mike Jones, George Denman and Charlie Samson will compete against teams from across the world such as Japan, South Korea and France to bring home the title for Wales.

As the team’s primary project, they have been challenged to build a scale-model radio control crane to perform different technical tasks. They must follow a strict 36-page brief and have been given a total of four days to showcase their skills.

In addition to competitors from the Manufacturing Team Challenge, Ben Lewis, a finalist in the Electronics category, flew to Switzerland to fly the flag for Wales and the UK. Despite not securing a medal in the category, Ben did himself and Wales proud by testing his ability in assembly, wiring and designing prototype circuits against competitors from 16 rival nations.

Mike Jones, Welsh finalist in the Manufacturing Team Challenge, said: “Preparing to represent your country in the Skills Olympics is hard, but I love it.

“I have been in the process for more than three and a half years, competing in regional then national competition. I didn’t for one minute believe that I would get this far – I always wanted to do well but I never thought I would reach this level. The technical level is extraordinary.

“To represent the UK is fantastic but I’m not quite sure that my partner, friends and family quite realise yet how big this is. Winning a gold medal would be life-changing.”

Wales’ Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “The Welsh Government is committed to investing in our future generations and the WorldSkills competitions are a fantastic opportunity to encourage and inspire creative and driven young people to share their skills and ambition with the world. This will also help provide them with the tools they need to build successful future careers.

“It’s a huge honour for Wales to host the WorldSkills Special Edition 2022 on behalf of the United Kingdom, and we look forward to welcoming talented competitors from across the globe.”

“I wish Mike, George, Charlie and Ben the very best of luck as they represent Wales on Team UK.”

WorldSkills UK and the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales programme is supported by the Welsh Government to promote the importance of a highly skilled workforce for the future.

Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales delivers a programme of activities that raise awareness of vocational education, training and career pathways that positively impact on businesses in Wales.

For more information on Team Wales and WorldSkills UK, visit https://inspiringskills.gov.wales/

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