The UK has struck gold with its best ever performance in what was dubbed a Brexit stress test – the EuroSkills finals in Gothenburg.
The 22-strong team cleaned up with four gold (in three disciplines), one silver and three bronze (in two disciplines) medals, as well as eight Medallions of Excellence following three days of top-level competitions in a range of disciplines from Beauty to Bricklaying, Cooking to Carpentry, Plumbing to Plastering and Web Design.
More than 500 competitors from 28 nations across the continent were represented. Team UK was awarded:
- Landscape Gardening (Will Burberry, aged 20, from Horley, Surrey; Adam Ferguson, aged 20, from Ballymena, Northern Ireland)
- Welding (Josh Peek, aged 20, from Norwich)
- 3D Games Design (Daniel McCabe, aged 18, from Neston, Cheshire)
- Floristry (Danielle Scandone, aged 21, from Addlestone, Surrey)
- Cooking (Ruth Hansom, aged 21, from White City, London)
- Mechatronics (Sam Hillier, aged 23, from Loughborough; Tom Revell, aged 24, from Chester)
Medallions of Excellence (signifying the achievement of the highest European standards)
- Beauty Therapy
- Cabinet Making
- CNC Milling
- Mechanical Engineering
- Painting & Decorating
- Plumbing & Heating.
Dr Neil Bentley, CEO of WorldSkills UK, which oversees the UK’s regional and national competitions, as well as Team UK’s selection and preparation, said:
“We are overjoyed – our best ever performance – just at the moment when we really need it.
“This competition is a microcosm of how the UK is doing against economies across Europe. You can see us competing cheek by jowl against the French, the Dutch, the Germans, the Scandinavians and others. You can actually see what we are up against.
“The pressure that these people are under is ensuring that they compete at an international standard, and it’s crucial for the economy and business that they perform at that level.
“These young people are going back into their workplaces and sharing that knowledge and experience – which helps businesses to thrive and that’s what’s going to help businesses compete with others across the world.
“They are the future, the future of our economy, the future of our nation…they are going to help our economy to grow.”