5th March 2019
York College has been chosen by WorldSkills UK to host prestigious competitions to select the team of apprentices and students who will represent the UK at WorldSkills Kazan 2019, in August this year. Known as the ‘Skills Olympics’, the WorldSkills Competition has the world’s best apprentices/students battling to win Gold, Silver and Bronze in their chosen skill.
During National Apprenticeship Week, the York College Construction & Skills Centre is the venue for the bricklaying and architectural stonemasonry UK team selections. The College is extremely proud to have two apprentices, one in each trade, in the running; CITB apprentices Lewis Greenwood (bricklaying) and Kristian Valente (stonemasonry) will compete over four days to potentially join the WorldSkills UK Team.
Lewis Greenwood is the last man standing in the brickwork competition and Kristian Valente will compete alongside two other UK stonemasons; Ethan Conlon (Bath College) and Owen Gallimore (Weymouth College). International competitors and their Experts from Russia and Italy will also be competing at York College in their final preparations for the Worldskills Competition. Previously, Lewis and Kristian won regional heats and have attended training sessions to be assessed by industry experts, they have won at national level and they are now at the very last stage of selection.
Lewis Greenwood, aged 21 (previously from Tadcaster Grammar School) works for PDS Construction in Wetherby, completed his bricklaying apprenticeship in 2017.
Kristian Valente, aged 20 from Holmfirth, is employed by Mono Masonry in Oldham, completed his stonemasonry apprenticeship last year.
Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK, which manages the UK’s entry into the WorldSkills Competition said: “York College offers state of the art facilities to select the UK’s top apprentices and students to compete on the world stage. Working with training providers like York College and businesses throughout the UK, we can transfer the insights gained from competing against other countries into the wider economy, driving up training standards in the UK to world-class levels, boosting productivity.”
Rob Holmes, Head of Construction at York College adds: “The UK is currently tenth in the WorldSkills rankings following its medal success at the last WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi last year. There is no doubt that WorldSkills inspires students and apprentices to excel, share best practice and raise standards in a wide variety of skill areas. It is a huge privilege for the College to train individuals to the highest standard and enable them to showcase their expertise, and to host the final stage selection in brickwork and stonemasonry. For current and prospective students/apprentices the competition is truly inspirational, it demonstrates how high quality training, coupled with hard work, can bring about a wonderful career in the construction industry.”
Team UK for WorldSkills Kazan 2019 will be announced officially on 11th March 2019.