A medals ceremony has taken place at the MRA Technology Institute to honour students and alumni from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) who won 16 medals at the WorldSkills UK competition in 2021. Restrictions had prevented them from collecting their medals in person. The ceremony was hosted by the college’s board of governors and medals were presented by Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC.
The college performed extremely well at the national WorldSkills UK finals last year putting NWSLC at the top of the table in England, and fourth in the UK winning five Gold, three Silver and eight Bronze medals.
The medal winners had previously been recognised at the college’s online Celebration of Achievement event in January and this was the first opportunity they had to join together and celebrate in person.
Those attending the ceremony included Gold medal winners:
- Samuel Abbott, from Coventry, who works as an apprentice for E. Brook Joinery and won the Gold medal in the joinery competition. Sam attends the college’s specialist construction Harrowbrook Campus and is committed to completing his training and progressing in his career as a joiner. Sam has an ambition to compete for a place in Squad UK for WorldSkills in Lyon in 2024.
- Kelys Ramsay, from Nuneaton, triumphed in the Foundation hairdressing category after she rose to the challenge of creating a stunning bridal design for long hair against the clock. She said that she had felt honoured to take part in the competition and was ‘over the moon’ to win the Gold medal. Kelys said that her experience of competing for WorldSkills UK has improved her confidence and she is hoping to join the hairdressing industry when she has completed her college qualifications.
- Samuel Barnes, from Leicester, secured the top spot in the Foundation motor vehicle skills competition and has proved himself to be an able student. He is currently progressing well on the autocare technician programme at our Nuneaton Campus and is set to fast-track on to the next level. His skills test required him to carry out a technical procedure on a vehicle in a workshop making sure that safe working practices were followed.
Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, who is also deputy chair and trustee of WorldSkills, said, “We were delighted to welcome so many of our talented medal-winners to the college to celebrate in person and to receive their medals. The college performed very strongly in the competition last year and we are so proud of all our students who worked so hard to achieve such fantastic results. Congratulations to all of them, and thanks to their tutors who helped to keep them on track and provided them with so much support and encouragement.
“We were delighted that the outcome put us at the top of the medals table for English colleges and particularly pleased that our students excelled in the foundation skills competitions, placing our college at the top of the league table for the whole of the UK. Foundation skills competitions, designed for those with special educational needs and disabilities, were originally conceived and first started by NWSLC, so we are particularly proud of our success in this area.”
Other medal winners in attendance at the ceremony were:
- Reece Todd, Ryan Maguire, Frankie McCarthy, and Jake Benson who won Bronze medals in the digital media production competition
- Abbie Simpson who won the Silver medal for visual merchandising
- Callum Hearne and Lewis Smith who won Silver and Bronze medals respectively in the Foundation health and social care category.
Governor, Andrew Turner, who is Chair of the Students’ Learning and Quality Committee, gave the closing vote of thanks.
Alumni from NWSLC are continuing to train to represent the UK on the world’s stage at the bi-annual WorldSkills competition in Shanghai in October 2022. Former student and Nuneaton chef Chloe Lloyd-Hughes will compete in the culinary arts category while Ellie Ruff from Nuneaton will take on challenges in visual merchandising. Both are members of the prestigious WorldSkills UK Talent Development Programme after previously excelling in its national skills competitions.