Northern Ireland news

Further Education Colleges celebrate student success at the WorldSkills UK finals

Rory Deehan King, North West Regional College gold medallist
Suzanne McGonagle

NORTHERN Ireland's further education sector is celebrating success after students secured wins in a competition aimed at showcasing skills in areas such as culinary arts, furniture making and industrial robotics.

More than 60 students from the six Further Education colleges took part in the annual WorldSkills UK Finals, which provides opportunities for young people to test their knowledge and skills in more than 60 disciplines against students from Britain.

A total of 26 medals were secured, including nine gold, in areas such as confectionery and patisserie, wall and floor tiling and best laboratory technician.

Southern Regional, Belfast Metropolitan and South Eastern Regional colleges were also placed in the top 10 best performing.

Louise Warde Hunter, chair of the Further Education Colleges Principal's Group, said: "Their passion and dedication towards their chosen course is a great reflection on the abilities of students in further education across Northern Ireland and we were thrilled to see that displayed on a national stage.

"The WorldSkills UK competitions are an unparalleled occasion for our students to learn new, innovative ways of carrying out their skilled work while also showcasing their own talents on a UK-wide platform.

"This gives terrific confidence and opportunities for our students, many of whom use their WorldSkills UK experiences when moving onto university or into employment."

Ben Blackledge from World Skills UK, said: "We hope that their success will inspire more people to consider an apprenticeship and technical training course as a route to great career success."

Northern Ireland news