Double celebration for UWTSD gold medal WorldSkills UK winner and graduate George Searle


15.07.2019

It’s been an exciting time for University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) BSc Computing Networks and Cyber security graduate George Searle, who has secured a job with BT – just a few months after winning a gold medal at WorldSkills UK 2018.

George, who graduated with a First Class Honours today, will start a graduate training scheme with BT in Ipswich in September. He was one of three UWTSD students who qualified to compete in the prestigious national finals of the 2018 WorldSkills UK Competitions. 

George, Lawrence Edwards and Paul Lawrence were the only Welsh University students given the opportunity to compete against learners from all over the UK in front of over 70,000 visitors at WorldSkills UK LIVE at the NEC in Birmingham.

Having graduated last summer with a first-class degree in Sport and Exercise Science (Personal Training), Lawrence Edwards reached the finals of the Fitness Trainer: Personal Trainer category after being put forward by UWTSD lecturer, Geraint Forster.

George and Paul – students on the BSc Computing (Computer Networks and Cyber Security) course at UWTSD Swansea – both reached the final of the Network Infrastructure Technician category and their lecturer, Dr Kapilan Radhakrishnan is extremely proud of what they’ve both achieved.

“It was the first-time students from UWTSD’s School of Applied Computing took part in WorldSkills and we were extremely pleased that both of them reached the UK finals,” said Kapilan. “The competition helped George and Paul to realise their potential and skills they possess.  The School’s association with Cisco Networking Academy was key to their success as they study CCNA as part of their degree programme.  George winning the Gold shows the quality of our teaching and facilities we have that enable our students achieve.”

George said: “To make the final and win a gold medal was amazing. It meant all my hard work paid off. The Network Infrastructure Technician regional heat was very challenging as the internationally recognised Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) curriculum was tested. Both competitions were a great way to test practical computer networking skills and critical thinking under pressure whilst focusing on the job in hand. The final was nerve-wracking – but through all the buzz of the competition and the noise, I just got on with it and applied the skills and knowledge I had learnt through my degree course.”

George is now looking forward to starting a career with BT. “UWTSD has given me a fantastic start,” he said. “I originally chose the course because of the specialist modules. The close link with Cisco was an important factor for me. The support I’ve had from Kapilan has been incredible. He was there to guide and help me all the way. Now, I’m looking forward to starting my career with BT.”

Barry Liles, UWTSD’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Skills and Lifelong Learning said: “As a provider of high level skills, we recognise the immense benefits to both our students and staff arising from engagement with skills competitions.

“As a dual sector University in Wales, we have a long and prestigious record in developing our learners as competitors on the world stage. The experience gained in these competitions is invaluable for preparing students with the skills and knowledge they need for industry. We are very proud of George, Paul and Lawrence.”

In March, University of Wales Trinity Saint David hosted one of the prestigious WorldSkills UK competitions at its Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), to select the team of apprentices and students who will represent the UK at WorldSkills Kazan 2019, in August this year. 

Known as the ‘Skills Olympics’, the WorldSkills Competition see the world’s best apprentices and students battle it out to win Gold, Silver and Bronze in their chosen skill.  The UK is currently tenth in the WorldSkills rankings following its medal success at the last WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017. 

From March 4 to March 8, alongside the team selection competitions, UWTSD and CWIC hosted a variety of engagement events for schools, colleges and University students.  These events showcased various pathways into construction and demonstrated innovative technology such as new digital construction tools and virtual reality training equipment. 

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695
Mobile: 07384 467071
Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk