WorldSkills: Team UK finishes 10th in Abu Dhabi

Team UK members won one gold, three silver and three bronze medals at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi

Julia Belgutay

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Team UK secured seven medals at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 – with beauty therapist Kaiya Swain winning gold after four days of competition.

This means Team UK finished 10th in the medals table at the international skills competition, which saw over 1,000 young people go head-to-head in dozens of different skills.

22-year old Kaiya, from Stone Cross in East Sussex, told Tes earlier this week she had been able to set a new personal best and was happy with her performance.

Silver medals were won by architectural stonemason Archie Stoke-Faiers, 22, from Uplyme in Devon, car painter Daryl Head, 21, from Swindon, and visual merchandiser Catherine Abbott, 21, from Reading.

Team UK also secured three bronze medals, with plumber Dan Martins, 20, from Northampton, cabinet maker Angus Bruce-Gardner, 22, from Kendal in Cumbria, and auto repairer Andrew Gault, 20, from Cookstown in Northern Ireland, making the podium in Abu Dhabi’s du Arena.

Neil Bentley, chief executive of WorldSkills UK, said that the young people had done the nation proud. “If we celebrate Team UK’s success and use it to inspire others to follow in their footsteps – the future of the UK is in safe hands,“ he said.

'An inspiration to others'

And skills and apprenticeship minister Anne Milton, who visited the competition to support the team, said she had been “blown away by Team UK”. “They have done fantastically well – this is the UK competing on the world stage for skills and achieving great things.”

She added: “There is a message here for parents – university is not the only option – the opportunities are boundless if they overcome any bias that they might have. We must ensure that the young apprentices here become an inspiration to others.”

In addition to UK’s seven medals, 13 members of Team UK were awarded Medallions of Excellence – given to those competitors who achieve the world-class standard in their skills.

Medallions of Excellence winners

Liz Forkuoh in Restaurant Service

Betsy Crosbie in Mechanical Engineering CAD

Josh Hunter in Bricklaying

Jordan Charters in Painting and Decorating

Conor Willmott in Joinery

Alexander Wood in Jewellery

Bridie Thorne in Hairdressing

Ruth Hansom in Cooking

Adam Ferguson and Will Burberry in Landscape Gardening

Tom Revell and Sam Hillier in Mechatronics

Josh Peek in Welding

Joseph Massey in Aircraft Maintenance

Shane Carpenter in IT Network Admin (Cyber Security)  

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Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay is head of FE at Tes

Find me on Twitter @JBelgutay

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