16 July 2012
Talented Welsh duo line up for international skills glory
Two talented Welsh trainees have been shortlisted to represent the UK in front of thousands of people at the world’s top skills competition.
Star plumbing apprentice Lee Cuthill, 21, from Denbighshire and web design wizard from Carmarthenshire, Daniel Koehler,17, have impressed selectors enough to earn a call-up for the UK Squad to compete at the prestigious international WorldSkills event, in Leipzig Germany next year.
Lee is an apprentice with Ruthin-based D I Jones Heating Engineers and a student at Yale College Wrexham, while Daniel is a student at Coleg Sir Gâr, Carmarthenshire. Both have been waiting over recent months to see if their successes in the Wales and UK rounds of WorldSkills would be enough to win them places in the squad. They’ll know next March whether they’ve actually made it through to the final UK team selection.
Further top trainees from Wales may be named for the UK Squad in other skill areas, when the second half of the squad is announced later this year.
WorldSkills is the biggest international skills event on the planet. Held every two years in one of its 61 member countries or regions, the competition sees around 1,000 young people aged 18 - 23 from across the globe compete for medals in more than 40 different skills. These include fields such as electrical installation, mobile robotics, web design, cooking, construction skills, plumbing and landscape gardening.
Lee and Daniel selected from among the UK’s most talented apprentices, employees and learners after competing in tough three-day selection events in their respective skills held throughout the UK. This followed their outstanding success earlier this year in the SkillsCompetition Wales programme, which is backed by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund.
Following selection for the UK squad, Lee and Daniel will now spend the next year preparing to take on the very best from across the world, undergoing bespoke training programmes supported by a specialist trainers in their skill areas.
As Squad UK members, they will compete for coveted places in Team UK at a further selection event which will be held in March 2013. If selected for the final team the two will step-up training before heading to WorldSkills Leipzig which takes place from 2nd – 7th July 2013.
Commenting on his selection a delighted Daniel said: “It is a huge honour to be a member of Squad UK. I know the next year will be tough as I will be in training but I really hope the whole country gets behind Squad and Team UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013, just like they do our sporting teams!”
The National Apprenticeship Service manages the UK’s entry into the WorldSkills Competition under the name of WorldSkills UK. The competitors that took part in Squad UK Selection were invited to compete after excelling in the WorldSkills UK National Competitions and other industry events. WorldSkills UK National Competitions reward real talent and drive up levels of expertise in further education, skills and Apprenticeships.
Jeff Cuthbert, Deputy Minister for Skills congratulated the two on their success. He said: “These competitions provide an excellent opportunity to stretch the abilities of up-and-coming skilled workers from many important sectors of the economy and encourage them to benchmark their skill against others in Wales, UK or international competitors.
“It is vital that our workforce has the very highest skills and that we continue to strive for excellence across all sectors to ensure Wales can compete on the international stage.”
The majority of Squad UK competitors will compete at EuroSkills, which is being held from the 4th – 6th October 2012 in Spa, Belgium. This will form part of their ‘pressure testing’ ahead of the selection for Team UK.
Jaine Bolton, Director at the National Apprenticeship Service and UK Official Delegate to WorldSkills International said: “I offer my support and congratulations to every young person that has earned a place in Squad UK. “By competing in international competitions, the UK is able to showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through high quality further education, skills training and Apprenticeships. This provides the inspiration for young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level.”
Further information from Eoghan Mortell on
029 2064 6840 or 07977 555 116
Notes to Editors
About Squad and Team UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013
The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) manages the UK’s entry into the WorldSkills Competition under the name of WorldSkills UK.
The members of Squad UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 were be chosen from amongst the UK’s most talented apprentices, employees and learners aged 18 – 23, after three day selection events which took place during summer 2012. The competitors that took part in the Squad UK selection events were invited to compete after excelling in the WorldSkills UK National Competitions or other industry events.
Members of Squad UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 will undergo a specialised training programme, supported by a dedicated Training Manager in each skill. They will compete for a place in Team UK by taking part in further selection events which will be held throughout the UK in March 2013.
The UK is currently ranked fifth in the WorldSkills ranking ahead of France, Germany and China after Team UK secured five Gold, two Silver and six Bronze medals at WorldSkills London 2011. This was the UK’s best ever result in the 62 year history of WorldSkills.
British Gypsum, Goldsmiths and Marshalls are Skill Sponsors for Squad UK and Team UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013.
WorldSkills Leipzig takes place from 2 – 7 July 2013.
About WorldSkills UK – The Skills Show
Competitors from the 2012 WorldSkills UK programme will be showcased at The Skills Show, taking place at NEC Birmingham, 15 – 17 November.
The UK’s biggest skills and careers event, The Skills Show is a unique annual celebration that will inspire the landscape gardeners, web developers and engineers of tomorrow with exciting opportunities in further education, skills and Apprenticeships.
City & Guilds is the Premier Sponsor of The Skills Show. European Social Fund (ESF) is a partner of The Skills Show.
For more information about WorldSkills UK visit www.worldskillsuk.org
For more information about The Skills Show visit www.theskillsshow.com