European Social Fund

Nine Preston College Students Win National Skills Awards

Preston College students competed in the WorldSkills UK national finals, winning four awards across three competitive categories.

WorldSkills supports young people across the world via competition based training, assessment and benchmarking, with members’ national teams ultimately testing their ability to achieve world-class standards in the biennial ‘Skills Olympics’.

Over 3,000 people registered to take part in this year’s competition, with only 400 students battling it out in the finals, across 64 disciplines. Preston College finalists competed in Bricklaying, Plastering and Dry Wall Systems, Commercial Make-up and Digital Media Production.

Preston College students watched the award show live stream together, in the on-campus theatre, with the winners being announced by Steph McGovern, live from the Channel 4 studio of her daytime show Steph’s Packed Lunch.

Construction apprentices Kieran and Mitchell both won medals in the Bricklaying category, with Kieran winning a bronze medal and Mitchell scooping first place and taking gold. Competitors were tasked with building a bespoke wall piece to a set brief. The model they had to produce tested their skillset with drawing interpretation, contrasting brick, curvature work, tumbling in, dental features and a flat arch with voussoir cuts, all within a strict time frame – a complex piece for apprentices and experienced industry bricklayers alike. 

Jason Crumblehulme, Work Based Tutor and WorldSkills lead at Preston College said; “Congratulations to Kieran and Mitchell on what is a huge achievement. All the members of the brickwork team are immensely proud of the winners, as are the rest of the college too.”

But the medals didn’t stop there. Students also picked up two awards in the Media categories. Ganesh, Nico, Max and Beres took part in the Digital Media Production category, producing a news broadcast under the theme of Climate Change. They had to produce vox pops from members of the public whilst away for 3 days in Hinckley, and create a 3-4 minute news piece. Their work was well received by the judges and saw them take away the bronze medal in their category.

Simon Roberts, Curriculum Leader for Visual & Performing Arts at Preston College said; “It’s great to see how all the students have taken the skills they have learnt in their main programmes and applied these independently in their own creative ways. We’re all extremely proud of how they represented both themselves and the college.”

Zachary, Nicholas and Nick submitted an excellent piece in the Media Foundation Skills category which impressed the panel as they received a silver award for their excellent work. They were tasked with producing a marketing resource themed around respect. The students chose to produce a poster on recycling and plastic bottles – educating the public on how to respect the environment.

Laura Fenton, Photography tutor and WorldSkills lead at Preston College said; “I think the World Skills competition has equipped our learners for working professionally within a creative media setting and has given them the skills needed, including teamwork and time management.”

Commiserations went to Jess, Student Governor at Preston College, who competed fiercely in the Creative Media Make-up category. The theme for the make-up competition, set by WorldSkills, was ‘make this world a better place’ and saw Jess create a look based on disability and equality, focusing on how people can underestimate the ability of people with disability.

The next WorldSkills UK competition will take place in 2023, but staff and students at the college are already looking forward to improving their skills and taking home even more awards at the next event.

Louise Doswell, Principal and Chief Executive at Preston College said; “We are immensely proud of all of our WordSkills competitors who progressed through to the finals, and to our excellent staff who have supported our students with their skills development.  The event was a fantastic experience for all of our students and one I am sure they will remember for many years.  Special congratulations go to our students who were recognised for their excellence including the Bricklaying (Bronze and Gold), Digital Media Production (Bronze) and Media Foundation Skills (Silver) medal winners. I am sure we will build on this year’s success and grow our competition entries and medal tally in the years to come.”

From left to right: Nico, Beres (Appearing via Video Call), Max, Ganesh and Preston College staff (the drinks were non-alcoholic!)
Kieran – Bronze medal in Bricklaying winner
Mitchell – Gold meal in Bricklaying winner

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