For the next week, I’ll be reporting from the WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi, which kicks off with a spectacular opening ceremony. I have been following the story of many of Team UK’s competitors for over two years, and it is impossible to not be in awe of the commitment these young people have shown.
Despite no guarantee of success at the competition next week, they have put their lives on hold for over two years, spending thousands of hours training and perfecting their respective skills. Painting and decorating competitor Jordan Charters told me that the best moment would be finishing the final day of the contest so he could “finally have his life back”.
Brilliant examples for their peers
How often do we see young people portrayed as notoriously late and constantly distracted by Instagram and Snapchat? How often do we read about employer concerns that they lack the key skills the workplace requires?
The young competitors who will be representing the UK over the coming days are the very best of the FE and apprenticeship system. They are not the only ones working as hard as they possibly can to get as good as they can possibly get; thousands of youngsters do that in colleges across the UK every day. But the members of Team UK are brilliant examples to their peers – and to the rest of us as well.