A construction metal work student could be on his way to Brazil next year after being selected to join WorldSkills Squad UK.
Gethin Johnson, 19, from Llandysul, who is currently studying Construction Metal Work at Coleg Sir Gar, will now compete for a place in the team which will be representing the UK at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015.
WorldSkills is the largest international skills competition in the world. Held every two years, the competition sees around 1000 young people, aged 18-25, from all over the world come together to compete for medals in more than 40 different skills including Electrical Installation, Welding, Web Design, Cooking and Bricklaying.
Gethin Johnson is one of 10 Welsh youngsters, all aged between 19 and 21 from across Wales who have been named among 98 members of Squad UK.
They were all invited to compete in the selection competitions after excelling at the WorldSkills UK National Competitions, the finals of which took place at The Skills Show last November. The Squad UK members were then selected following three days of intense competition held at four venues throughout the UK.
They will now spend the next 11 months training in their skill supported by their training provider, college, employer and a dedicated training manager. In May next year they will compete for a coveted placed in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 which takes place from 11-16 August.
Gethin Johnson, who is also working as a welder and fabricator for west Wales-based Morris Welding & Fabrication during his apprenticeship, said he was thrilled to have been selected:
“It would be amazing to get the chance to compete at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015. I have hugely enjoyed the competitions so far and they have definitely given me new experience of different machines and welding techniques, making me a better welder and fabricator in the process. My involvement with the WorldSkills competitions is also putting my home town Llandysul on the map as well as bringing lots of recognition for my employer, Morris Welding & Fabrication.”
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Ken Skates said:
"I'm really pleased to see so many high quality Welsh apprentices represented at the WorldSkills competition. Wales can boast a wealth of exceptionally talented apprentices who have highly developed skills in a wide range of vocational areas.
“The ten Welsh competitors in Squad UK are all great ambassadors for Wales and I wish them and Squad UK all the very best for the competition. I hope this recognition inspires many more young people to consider an apprenticeship as a path to a successful career."
Ross Maloney, Chief Executive, Find a Future, which manages the WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions and the UK’s entry into the WorldSkills Competition said:
“Skills competitions showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through high quality further education, skills training and Apprenticeships. Through skills competitions and the wider work of Find a Future we want to provide every young person with the chance to unlock their potential and get excited about the world of work.”
By participating in the WorldSkills Competition, the UK is able to share best practise in Apprenticeships and vocational teaching, raising standards on a global scale.
The training programme for Squad UK includes EuroSkills Lille 2014, Europe’s largest skills competition which takes place from 1 – 5 October, 2014 and The Skills Show which takes place from 13-15 November, 2014.