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Training Gears Up for 2021 WorldSkills Shanghai

Posted on 27 February 2020

Over the next 14 months, a Leeds College of Building apprentice will be undertaking gruelling training as part of the WorldSkills UK Talent Programme.

In January, WorldSkills UK announced the finalists successful in securing a place in the programme, SquadUK, which included Painting and Decorating apprentice and Bagnalls employee, Lewis Boyle. Lewis is one of only three painters and decorators to represent the UK.

Lewis was the overall winner of the Painting and Decorating Association’s (PDA) Apprentice of the Year competition in July 2019 and won Silver at the 2019 Apprentice Decorator of the Year (ADY) competition, sponsored by Crown Trade Paints.  Lewis then achieved a silver medal at Workskills UK LIVE held at the Birmingham NEC last November.

Andrew McDonald was also selected, Andrew is a Wall & Floor Tiling apprentice working for John Durkin Ceramics, Andrew competed in a closely fought final at the UK WorldSkills competition, and was Highly Commended. He now has to compete against 2 other wall & floor tilers for a place in Shanghai.

The finalists successful in securing a place in the programme, SquadUK, include Painting and Decorating apprentice and Bagnalls employee, Lewis Boyle and Andrew McDonald, Wall & Floor Tiling apprentice working for John Durkin Ceramics.

A team of 137 apprentices and students from across the UK will undertake the training programme and have the opportunity to be selected for EuroSkills Graz in September to supplement their skills and benchmark performance against our European counterparts.

Squad UK will be training to world-class standards of excellence, undergoing pressure testing and taking part in international exchanges until May 2021. A review of progression and podium potential will take place, before Team UK is announced for the 46th WorldSkills competition. Held in Shanghai, China, the competition will represent 83 different nations.

The Leeds College of Building apprentices attended the first Talent Development bootcamp at Loughborough University in February. Hosted by Peter Bakare with special guest Dan McCabe from Team UK 2017 and the WorldSkills Champions Trust, the bootcamp brought together Squad UK, Training Managers and a Performance and Wellbeing Team.

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said
“It is fantastic to see such a strong squad of young people all of whom are aiming to represent the UK on the world stage in Shanghai. They will be flying the flag for the UK, demonstrating to the rest of the world that we are developing the high-quality skills needed to help us to trade internationally and attract inward investment across all of the UK to creating and maintain jobs.”

Last year, Team UK achieved 19 awards and took 12th place overall at WorldSkills Russia. Planning strategies for success and training will officially start in Spring 2020 with the aim of surpassing past achievements ready for 2021.

Congratulations and good luck to Lewis and Michael on their continued journey – we hope you secure a place in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills Shanghai 2021!

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