We successfully hosted seven of the WorldSkills UK National Finals last week.
We played host to finals in Aircraft Maintenance, Electronic Security Systems, Fire Detection and Alarm Systems, Industrial Electronics and Metal Fabricator at its Pagefield Centre of Excellence in Engineering & Construction.
The Centre for Advanced Technical Studies provided the backdrop for the Health and Social Care and Health and Social Care (Foundation) competitions.
The competitions saw students and apprentices from all over the UK arrive to compete in a celebration of world-class skills; all aiming to impress officiating judges.
Wigan & Leigh College Principal, Anna Dawe and Chair of Greater Manchester Colleges said:
“What a week we had at Wigan & Leigh College. From the arrival of the competitors, the judges, the set up teams and the media there has been a buzz around our campuses.
“The competitions, masterclasses for our own students and visits from partner high schools have all raised aspirations and showcased technical skills in the best way possible.
“The ten further education colleges across Greater Manchester have long been strong supporters of WorldSkills UK and the strength of technical skills training has previously resulted in outstanding performances and proud medal winners.”
The competitions also provided the opportunity for partner high schools to bring groups of pupils along to witness the finals taking place and to speak to industry experts about using technical skills within industry, linking to career pathways.
Learners from the college also had the chance to participate in industry masterclasses where they learned more about metal fabrication and industrial electronics.
Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said:
“Thank you to Wigan and Leigh College for hosting such a fantastic event for WorldSkills UK.
“Our finals not only celebrate the best in young talent, but also provide a vital opportunity to see how skill development in the UK stacks up both domestically and against our international neighbours.
“Skills will continue to be a key differentiator for business both at home and abroad and through our programmes we are working to ensure that all apprentices and students in the North West and across the UK can gain access to high-quality technical education and apprenticeships that lead to real success for them and the UK as a whole.”
The competitions are a seven-month long process including regional heats and intensive training before stepping up to the ultimate test of the National Finals. Young people are full of praise for the competitions with the vast majority (97%) of previous entrants saying taking part improved their technical skills and 93% saying they improved their personal and employability skills.