UK’s best on Road to Shanghai


15.01.2020

‘Skilled elite to help transform technical education training’

Congratulations to UWTSD’s Software Engineering Degree Apprentice Zack Evans (pictured centre) who will join 137 apprentices and students at WorldSkills UK’s talent programme for the ‘skills olympics’ in Shanghai, China in 2021.

Zack Evans, who won a silver medal at WorldSkills in Birmingham, with Andrew and Gwyn

The announcement was made this month by the education and skills charity which manages the UK’s entry into the ‘skills olympics’, known officially as WorldSkills, which has also set out its ambition over the next decade to use its ongoing participation in this global event to bring back innovation from other leading world economies to the UK to help create a world-class skill system to support economic growth, productivity and competitiveness.

Zack, a first year Software Engineering Degree Apprentice employed at Inngot Ltd in Swansea’s city centre, represented the University alongside Paul Lawrence and James Dunhill at The UK’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event, WorldSkills Finals which took place on November 21-23 at Birmingham NEC – and was awarded a silver medal.

Over the three days there were competitions in 70 different skills across the Digital, Technology, Engineering, Construction and Hospitality industries with finalists having to a set task or series of tasks in their respective skill area within a limited time and front of the 70,000 plus visitors attending the event.

WorldSkills UK’s goal is to mainstream the excellence in teaching, training and assessment to be received by the young people in the WorldSkills UK elite team announced this week, so more and more young people all across the UK can also benefit from world-class training methods.

It has a global reach with over 80 countries and regions participating in the event, and this provides WorldSkills UK with unique access to skills innovation from around the world. Through its Productivity Lab programme, WorldSkills UK announced it is seeking to work with partners in education, training and business to use this insight to mainstream global best practice to raise standards in everyday training to world-class levels. It believes this focus on excellence will inspire more young people, from all backgrounds, to take up apprenticeships and technical education as a prestige route to success for them and their employers.

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. Now more than ever, we need to invest in excellence in training for the next generation if we are to remain competitive globally and help create a thriving economy.

"Congratulations to all of those on the WorldSkills UK Talent Programme, they really are the high flyers of their generation and should help inspire young people and parents everywhere – turning vocational snobbery on its head – showing that choosing a technical career is a clear route to success in work and life.”

The apprentices and students on the WorldSkills UK Talent Programme will now spend the next 18 months in training. This is fitted around their study and employment commitments before they face the ultimate selection test next year to secure a place in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills Shanghai 2021.

Bridget Moseley, Head of UWTSD’s Apprenticeship Unit said: “This is fantastic news. I am absolutely delighted that Zack’s abilities have been recognised at this level and that he has been given the opportunity to demonstrate them on the world stage.”

Barry Liles, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Skills and Lifelong Learning at UWTSD said: “The University is so pleased for Zack having been selected to compete for a place in Team UK for Shanghai in 2021. We will now do our utmost to support Zack during this development period, working with both WorldSkills UK and the Inspiring Skills Excellence Project in Wales. Zack’s success shows the importance of the vocational skills pathway that exists in the region where commencing their studies in a further education college, in Zack’s case Neath Port Talbot College Group, with progression to higher education locally develops young people who can compete on the World stage and achieve vocational excellence.”

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