World Skills Update

Dear Colleague
Re: WorldSkills Sâo Paulo 2015 - A massive success for Team UK
We are writing to everyone in Team UK and all our partners to say a huge thank you and well done to all those involved in the WorldSkills competition in Sâo Paulo last week.
The competition had 1,189 competitors from 59 countries and regions competing in 50 skills with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for the best scores and 'Medallions for Excellence' for all other competitors judged to be operating at world class standards.
The UK fielded a team of 40 young people competing in 36 of the skills. We recorded our best ever results.
Highlights included:  
3 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze medal winners;  
in addition, Team UK had 23 Medallions of Excellence;     
32 team members received medals or Medallions, meaning that over three quarters of the team was judged to have reached the world class standard in their skill;
One of our Gold medal winners, Rianne Chester, our competitor in beauty therapy received the Albert Vidal prize for "Best in Show"  awarded to the competitor with the highest mark across all competitions, the first time the UK has ever won this award.
Only seven countries received more Gold medals than the UK (Korea and Brazil with 11 and Japan, China, Austria, Germany and Taipei with 5 each);  compared with the last competition in 2013, Team UK won 3 more medals and 6 more Medallions for Excellence.
We are still waiting for the results of one of the skills - for CNC milling - because there was a fault in the machine used for measuring the accuracy of the test pieces.  So these numbers may well be even higher when we have the final scores.
The performance of every team is ranked by WorldSkills.  When you look at the average number of points, for all medals and Medallions, indications are that we will be in seventh place overall - three places higher than in 2013.
None of this would have been possible without the hard work of everyone involved - the competitors, their trainers, the colleges, other providers and employers who supported them, our team leaders and coaches and the wider support team at Find a Future and in all our  partner organisations.  But more than anything else, this was a great team performance.  There was a fantastic team spirit in Sâo Paulo (and we definitely had the best team chant!)
Everyone in Team UK supported each other and learned from each other.  
In the meantime do have a look at the coverage on, the Team UK Videos on the WorldSkills UK Official channel on Youtube and the Team UK Photo album on flickr.
The media partner of Team UK, FE Week, has produced a 24 page supplement which celebrates the WorldSkills Competition and further coverage can be seen on the BBC website.   
Yours sincerely  
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Carole Stott                                                                    Peter Lauener  
Find a Future, Chair                                                       UK Official Delegate to WorldSkills  
The Rio 2016 Olympics may be a year away, but some of the UK’s brightest young talents are already celebrating medal success on the global stage in Brazil this week.  Following five days of intense competition against almost 1,000 of the world’s most skilled young people, the nation’s team of talented apprentices and learners will return from WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 with a haul of eight medals and 25 medallions, including three golds.
Taking place every two years since its inception in 1950, WorldSkills is the world’s largest skills competition, which is held around the globe to celebrate skills and share best practice between industries and countries.  Staged from 11-16 August 2015, WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 gave the world’s most talented young people the chance to battle it out to be named the best of the best in skills ranging from web design and aircraft maintenance to hairdressing and visual merchandising.
After four days of intense competition, Team UK, whose members are all aged 18 – 25, won three Gold, four Silver and two Bronze medals. The team was also awarded 24 Medallions for Excellence, which are given to competitors who demonstrate the attainment of world-class standards in their chosen skill.   And in a first for the UK, beauty therapy Rianne Chester received the Albert Vidal Award, after scoring the most points of any competitor in any discipline.  This award, formerly known as the Best in Competition Award, was renamed in honour of the founder of WorldSkills International in 1993 after his death.
In a letter to each individual competitor, Prime Minister David Cameron was full of praise for their efforts: “Team UK demonstrates how the best of our apprentices and vocational learners can compete at the highest international level.
The skills they were competing in are vital for the long-term success of our economy.  It is also important to remember that they are role models for the next generation of apprentices and vocational learners, who will be inspired by the team’s achievements in Brazil.
Team UK’s achievements are as follows:
SkillTeam MemberMedal
Beauty Therapy: Rianne Chester - Gold plus the Albert Vidal Award
Plumbing and Heating: Gary Doyle - Gold
Cabinet Making: Edward Harringman - Gold
Landscape Gardening: Jonathan Gill & Matthew Beesley - Silver
Aircraft Maintenance: Shayne Hadland - Silver plus Best in Nation
Refrigeration & Air Conditioning: Chris Baillie - Silver
Stonemasonry: Sam Turner - Bronze
Car Painting: Rebecca Wilson - Bronze
Medallions of excellence were awarded to:
Plastering and dry wall: Robert Johnson
Floristry: Louisa Cooper
Jewellery: Ben Pritchard
Bricklaying: Ryan Stevens
Hairdressing: Eleni Constantinou
Restaurant service: Lucy Jones
Patisserie and confectionery: Mikaela Wright
Cooking: Danny Hoang
Carpentry: Owain Jones
Web Design: Dan Levings
IT Network administration: Richard Miller
Mechatronics: Robyn Clarke & Andy Smith
Mechanical Engineering CAD: Andrew Beel
CNC Turning: Alex Elton
Joinery: Dale Hodgins
Automobile Technology: Elijah Sumner
Manufacturing Team Challenge: Patrick Devanney, Chris Renwick  & Dominic Trees
Painting  & Decorating: Curtis Baker
Electrical Installation: Adrian Canning
Welding: Reece Taylor
CNC Milling: Mike Watson
40 individuals were selected to compete as Team UK at WorldSkills São Paulo in 37 skills, after an intensive training programme working with individually dedicated training managers, which lasted up to two years.  All were chosen based on a high personal skill level, competitive attitude and maturity.
Skills Minister, Nick Boles commented: “Congratulations to Team UK on its impressive medal tally and achievement at WorldSkills São Paulo. Their hard work shows how far apprenticeships and professional and technical training can take young people, and the skills they are learning will help drive them towards an exciting and rewarding career.”
Carole Stott, chair of Find a Future - which manages the UK’s entry into the international WorldSkills competition - said: “WorldSkills São Paulo gave Team UK the opportunity to showcase the UK”s vocational and further education system on a global stage.  The hard work they have all put in over the last two years to prepare for the competition, alongside their committed training managers has really paid off and we are thrilled with the results they have achieved. We urge the nation to join us celebrating the success of Team UK and give them a champions’ welcome on their return.”
Gold medallist Rianne Chester from Warrington who won in Beauty Therapy, commented:“Being selected for Team UK was an amazing achievement in itself, but to come home with a gold medal and be named the best young beauty therapist in the world is such an incredible feeling.  To lift the Albert Vidal Award as well, for scoring the most points of any of the competitors, is a dream come true.  The whole of Team UK worked really hard and the experience of the competition is something we will never forget.  We have all learnt so much during the process – knowledge and new skills that we can take with us as we progress in our careers.”
Many of the Team UK members started their journey to Brazil when they entered the WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions and competed in national finals held at The Skills Show, the nation’s largest skills and careers event, in Birmingham in 2013 and 2014.
Selection for the next Team UK, to compete at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi in 2017, will start at The Skills Show 2015, which will take place at the NEC Birmingham from 19 to 21 November 2015. Visit for more information and to book a free ticket to the event.



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