Team UK finished seventh in the overall medals table at this year’s WorldSkills competition in São Paulo, Brazil, it was revealed today.
The team’s haul of three gold, three silver and two bronze medals, plus 21 medallions for excellence, made them the second-highest scoring European team after Switzerland, which came fourth. Host nation Brazil topped the table with 11 gold, 10 silver and six bronze medals.
Team UK's impressive performance put them above Austria (eighth), France (ninth) and Germany (10th). Those three countries, which are renowned for their strong vocational education systems, all scored above Team UK in the last WorldSkills competition in Leipzig, Germany, two years ago, when the British contestants placed 10th.
Although this year’s competition ended last week, the final medals table was revealed only today because of a number of technical issues.
The UK’s gold medallists were beauty therapist Rianne Chester (pictured above), Gary Doyle (plumbing and heating) and Edward Harringman (cabinetmaking). The silvers were claimed by Jonathan Gill and Matthew Beesley (landscape gardening), Shayne Hadland (aircraft maintenance) and Chris Bailie (refrigeration and air conditioning).
Maureen Evans-Olsen, the UK’s technical delegate to WorldSkills, said: “Team UK's hard work, dedication and constant pursuit of excellence paid dividends when the final medals table was revealed in São Paulo.
“It demonstrated the benefits of the rigorous training and development programme which was put in place to ensure that each individual could fulfil his or her potential in competition. Eighty four per cent of the team achieved a world-class mark, an increase of 7 per cent from 2013 and a clear indicator that performance standards are rising in UK skills.”