Skip to main content

6 September 2009

Britain really has got talent

3 gold and 6 bronze medal wins at largest skills based Competition in the world

Calgary, Sept. 6th 2009: It’s official: Britain really has got talent thanks to an exceptionally skilled team of 26 young people who have spent the last four days competing at the skills equivalent of the Olympics – the WorldSkills Competition in Calgary, Canada. At an emotional Closing Ceremony attended by all 900 Competitors from the 46 countries/regions that took part, as well as a further 6,000 team supporters and Experts, it was announced that the UK had won an amazing three gold and six bronze medals at skills ranging from painting and decorating to floristry and autobody repair. In addition the UK was also awarded 14 Medallions for Excellence given to Competitors who achieve at least 500 points, deemed the world class standard.

Team UK were understandably ecstatic about their achievements last night. The Team, who are all under the age of 25 and were chosen throughout the home countries/regions, have each trained hard for this moment over the last eighteen months. Social lives have been put on hold as each individual has perfected their skill to make sure they were at the world class level needed to compete against the best young skilled people in the world. Independent education foundation Edge is the Premier Supporter of Squad and Team UK, as part of its commitment to raising the status of practical and vocational learning.

Medals were won by the following:

GOLD: Cooking - Adam Smith, 22, from Orpington, who works at The Ritz Hotel.
GOLD: Electrical Installations - Richard Sagar, 22, from Langholm, who works for Eden Electrics.  Richard is City & Guilds qualified. 
GOLD: Painting & Decorating - Mark Nevin, 22, from East Calder, near Livingston, West Lothian, who works for Nevin of Edinburgh.
BRONZE: Autobody Repair - Daniel Cain, 22, from Grimsby, who works for Just Car Clinics.  Daniel is City & Guilds qualified.
BRONZE: Joinery - Trevor Woods, 21, from Co. Fermanagh, who works for McAleer & Teague and attends Omagh College.  Trevor is City & Guilds qualified. 
BRONZE: Floristry - Joe Massie, 21, from Liverpool, who works for Fishlocks Florist. Joe is City & Guilds qualified. 
BRONZE: Beauty Therapy - Charlotte Burford, 19, from Penkridge, near Stafford, who works for Tranquility @ Esporta Stafford and who attends South Staffordshire College. Charlotte is City & Guilds qualified. 
BRONZE: Restaurant Service - Katie Watson, 21, from Hamilton, who works at the Gleneagles Hotel.
BRONZE: Aircraft Maintenance - Stewart Wright, 25, from Northampton, who serves with the Royal Navy.  Stewart is City & Guilds qualified.  

In addition, Medallions for Excellence were awarded to:

MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Automobile Technology - Dean Jones, 21, from Swansea, who works for Mercedes-Benz of Swansea
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Bricklaying - Sam Fairgrieve, 21, from Leicester who works for Jelson Homes Ltd.  Sam is City & Guilds qualified. 
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Cabinet Making - Luke Griffiths, 22, from Chichester, who works for Cimitree Furniture and also teaches at Chichester College.  Luke is City & Guilds qualified. 
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Car Painting - Zak McLaughlan, 20, from Denham, who works for Solus and who attends Thatcham College.
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Confectionery - Alistair Birt, 21, from Hillingdon, Uxbridge, who studies at Thames Valley University.
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Electronics - Melanie Adlam, 22, from St Albans, who is a student at the University of Bristol and who works for MBDA UK.
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Ladies’/Men’s Hairdressing - Linzi Weare, 19, from Berry Hill near Coleford, who works at Reds Hair Company.
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: IT PC & Network Support - Hugo Landau, 19, from St Albans, who is a student at Barnfield College.
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Landscape Gardening - Luke Denby, 19 from Skipton who works for Roderick French Groundworks and attends Craven College and William Gadd, 22, from Thurston, Bury St Edmunds, who works for The Country Life Landscapes and attends Otley College. Luke and William are both City & Guilds qualified. 
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Mechanical Engineering CAD - Martin Eusebi, 21, from Glasgow, who works for MB Aerospace Ltd and attends Motherwell College.
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Plumbing & Heating - Christopher Lonsdale, 22, Bishop, Auckland, who is self employed.  Christopher is City & Guilds qualified.  
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Stonemasonry - Oliver Clack, 21, from Chichester, who works for Cathedral Works Organisation and who attends Weymouth College.  Oliver is City & Guilds qualified.
MEDALLION FOR EXCELLENCE: Web Design - Richard Edwards, 19, from Milton Keynes who is a student at Milton Keynes College.

Speaking from Canada, gold medal winner and Best of Nation (the top scorer) for the UK Mark Nevin said: “This is the most fantastic feeling. To have competed against the best young Painters and Decorators in the world was an amazing experience in itself, but to win a gold medal and Best in Nation Award in the trade I love is just incredible: I really do feel on top of the world!  The last year has been absolutely brilliant. To have been given the chance to learn what I’m capable of, to train with some of the best in the industry and to be part of such a great team has been unbelievable. I can’t wait to bring home my medal to show to all my friends and family back in the UK.”

The biennial WorldSkills Competition is a totally unique event. Over four days of tough competition, 900 young people from across the world test themselves against rigorous international standards, with the ultimate prize of winning gold, silver or bronze for their country/region. The UK has a good track record at the WorldSkills Competition, and was 11th in the World at the last event, held in Japan in 2007 and the Team are now waiting to find out where they rank for 2009.

Simon Bartley, Chief Executive of UK Skills, which manages Team UK said “What Team UK has achieved is outstanding. They have all worked so hard to get to where they are and that has certainly paid off. Once again we have shown that we have the very best young talent in our country. It’s a tremendous result not just for the Competitors, but for their employers, trainers and colleges. We hope to build on this success as we move towards the next WorldSkills Competition, which London will be hosting in 2011, where we hope to do even better. We are extremely proud of each and every one of them and can say that they are amongst the best in the world at their chosen skill. I send my heartfelt congratulations to the whole Team and look forward to welcoming them back to the UK.”

Skills Minister Kevin Brennan, said:  “I would like to congratulate each member of Team UK for the hard work and talent they displayed in Calgary. These inspiring young people have demonstrated to the rest of world just how able and highly skilled the UK is.

“The world class skills this team have demonstrated are vital to the future success of our economy in key industries such as construction, manufacturing and engineering.

“It’s more important than ever that we continue to support and invest in the skills of our workforce, helping individuals get into and stay on at work as well as helping businesses stay competitive and prepare for the upturn.”

The UK’s WorldSkills team is managed by UK Skills working in partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and key partners from education, government and industry. Brathay provide and support the training and development of Squad and Team UK. 

UK Press Release - National Results 6 Sept 2009 UK Press Release - National Results 6 Sept 2009