Ayrshire duo all set for UK skills finals

Ayrshire duo all set for UK skills finals

Two students will represent Ayrshire College at the WorldSkills UK LIVE national finals in Birmingham from 21 to 23 November. 

WorldSkills is the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event. Students from across the UK compete in all sorts of skills tests over the three days, in front of 70,000 people at the NEC. 

The top scoring students in each skills category will have the chance to represent their country in 2021 at a global WorldSkills competition to be held in China.

Blair Angus and Jade Thomson qualified for The Skills Show in Birmingham through regional heats held earlier this year.

Blair, 20 from Saltcoats, is a SVQ Level 3 Electrical Installation student and fourth year apprentice with Wood Group Industrial Services. He is one of ten competitors taking part in the 2019 SkillELECTRIC UK final, where he will need to install a complicated 2-day practical task set to a strict timescale and against rigorous marking criteria.

Blair said: “I was nominated through the SECTT training officer, who put me through to the Scottish heats, which had 50 people from across the country. From there I was chosen to go to the Scottish finals in Dundee, where there were 8 of us. The top three would qualify for Birmingham – and I finished second.

“I’m travelling down on Tuesday 19 November ahead of the introduction session on the Wednesday. Then the competition gets started on Thursday and takes place over three days.

“I’m just going to go for it and do my best. There’s been a lot of hard work prior to getting here. I’ve been at the college all week to go over everything and try to plan it out, so that if I had any problems I could discuss it with my lecturers and be best prepared for Birmingham.”

Jade Thomson, 20 from Troon, is a HNC Beauty student who will return to Birmingham for the WorldSkills UK Finals after competing in the Beauty Therapy: Hands and Face skills category last year. Jade will take part in the same category again, and hopes she will be able to use her previous experience to her advantage this week.

Jade said: “I didn’t place last year but I know what to expect this time around. I know it’s going to be really busy, I didn’t expect that last year. I think nerves totally got the better of me to be honest, it was a big hall and there’s butchering going on in one corner, floristry in another corner, and people come around trying to talk to you. It was just really nerve wracking. But it was a really good experience, it’s something different.

“My competition is all about testing our manicures and pedicures, a mini-facial, eyelash tint, eyebrows and make-up, so a bit of everything.

I won gold at the Scotland finals so my goal for this year is to get gold in Birmingham! Fingers crossed I’ll make the WorldSkills Shanghai competition in 2021.”

18 November 2019

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