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Engineering Apprentice Leon is top UK student

Engineering Apprentice Leon is top UK student

A Coleg Gwent engineering Apprentice has won a place amongst the top students in the UK and will now be battling it out for a place to represent the UK at an international skills contest in Brazil 2015.

City of Newport Campus Diploma Level 2 Accident Repair (paint) student Leon Ivin joins 9 of Wales’ most talented apprentices and learners selected to join WorldSkills Squad UK and compete for a place in the team which will be representing the UK at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015.

WorldSkills is the largest international skills competition in the world. Held every two years, the competition sees around 1000 young people, aged 18-25, from all over the world come together to compete for medals in more than 40 different skills including Electrical Installation, Welding, Web Design, Cooking and Bricklaying.

The 10 Welsh youngsters, all aged between 19 and 21 - from Abertridwr, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Newport and Pembrokeshire - have been named among 98 members of Squad UK, who were selected following three days of intense competition held at four venues throughout the UK.They were all invited to compete in the selection competitions after excelling at the WorldSkills UK National Competitions, the finals of which take place at The Skills Show.

The members of Squad UK will now spend the next 11 months training in their skill supported by their training provider, college, employer and a dedicated training manager. In May next year they will compete for a coveted placed in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 which takes place from 11-16 August.

Coleg Gwent’s Leon, 20 from Chepstow, is an Apprentice with Magor Motors. He said: “It’s really amazing to have got this far and be amongst the top students in Wales and the UK. I’ve really enjoyed the competitions and they have really helped me in the workplace too – I’m finding myself being able to work much quicker.

“Competing is very rewarding, especially when you have friends or family watching – you want to impress! It’s now a case of getting stuck into all the WorldSkills training between working and my college studies, I’d really love that place on the WorldSkills team in Brazil 2015.”

City of Newport Campus Director Gary Handley said: “We’re very proud of Leon’s fantastic achievement, and we’ll now be working hard to prepare for the WorldSkills competition in May 2015 to give Leon the best possible chance of securing the place in the UK team.”

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Ken Skates said:"I'm really pleased to see so many high quality Welsh apprentices represented at the WorldSkills competition. Wales can boast a wealth of exceptionally talented apprentices who have highly developed skills in a wide range of vocational areas.

“The ten Welsh competitors in Squad UK are all great ambassadors for Wales and I wish them and Squad UK all the very best for the competition. I hope this recognition inspires many more young people to consider an apprenticeship as a path to a successful career."

Ross Maloney, Chief Executive, Find a Future, which manages the WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions and the UK’s entry into the WorldSkills Competition said:“Skills competitions showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through high quality further education, skills training and Apprenticeships. Through skills competitions and the wider work of Find a Future we want to provide every young person with the chance to unlock their potential and get excited about the world of work.”

By participating in the WorldSkills Competition, the UK is able to share best practice in Apprenticeships and vocational teaching, raising standards on a global scale.

The training programme for Squad UK includes EuroSkills Lille 2014, Europe’s largest skills competition which takes place from 1 – 5 October, 2014 and The Skills Show which takes place from 13-15 November, 2014. Three Welsh competitors have been selected to represent the UK at EuroSkills 2014.

The 10 Welsh competitors selected to join Squad UK for WorldSkills São Paolo 2015 are:
• Leon Ivin, 20, from Chepstow – Car Painting
• Eleni Constantinou, 21, from Abertridwr – Hairdressing
• Elijah Sumner, 19, from Cardiff Bay – Auto Tech
• Alex Scott, 21, from Newport – Industrial Control
• Luke Elsmore, 19, from Blackwood – Industrial Control
• Owain Jones, 20, from Blaenau Ffestiniog – Carpentry
• Simon McCall, 20, from Capel Dewi - Carpentry
• Gethin Johnson, 19, from Llandysul – Construction Metal Work
• Nathan Roblin, 20, from Ammanford – Plastering and Dry Wall Systems
• Dominic Hicks, 19, from Tenby – Joinery

A second successful Coleg Gwent Apprentice and Skills Competition Wales gold medal winner, Lewis Lloyd, has been announced as a 2014 finalist in the Institute of the Motor Industry’s (IMI) SkillAuto competition.  Lewis, who works for BP Rolls Group and studies at City of Newport Campus, will compete against other heat winners for gold at the UK Skills Show in November 2014 in the UK Autobody skills final. 

For information about engineering courses visit our engineering pages or call our admissions team on 01495 333777.

News article originally published 10th July 2014
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