After achieving success at regional level, South West College (SWC) is delighted to announce that Andrew McCann, Ronan Kerr, Micah Anderson, and Andrius Simkus have been selected as finalists and will compete at the national finals of this year’s WorldSkills UK competition-based development programme.

The prestigious competition, held annually, is designed to boost skills and confidence, and gives individual students the opportunity to test their knowledge and skills against the very best in the UK.

Following a series of challenging regional heats earlier in the year, the highly anticipated finals will be held week commencing November 14, and will see over 500 students and apprentices, compete for gold, silver, and bronze at the competitions, which will take place in venues across the four corners of the UK.

A total of 62 finals, will be run across a wide range of skill areas from bricklaying in Edinburgh to laboratory technicians in London. For those that cannot attend an online broadcast will be available.

SWC will see four students compete in November’s finals, including: Level 2 Plumbing apprentice, Andrew Mc Cann, employed with Anderson Mechanical Services, who will compete in the Plumbing category at Middlesbrough College. Level 3 Professional Cookery student, Ronan Kerr, who is set to compete in the Culinary Arts category at Belfast Metropolitan College, as well as two Higher Level Apprentices (HLAs) Andrius Simkus and Micah Anderson, both studying the Ulster University Foundation Degree in Engineering with Specialisms (Manufacturing), and are set to compete in the automation category at Barking and Dagenham College in Romford.

The four competitors if successful, could see themselves representing the UK at the ‘Skills Olympics’ in France in 2024.

Andrew McCann, who will compete in the Plumbing category, said:

“I am excited to be partaking in this year’s finals. It is a fantastic opportunity to represent my College and my employer, and to showcase the skills and knowledge I have gained during my studies and training.

The whole experience has been amazing and having the opportunity to compete at this level, has enhanced my skillset, which I hope will help in my next career steps post-education.

It is a huge honour to have got this far and I would like to thank both the College and my employer for supporting me throughout this journey. The lecturers at the College have gone above and beyond and I am now looking forward to competing at a national level.”

“Competitions like this are great for developing your skillset. They prepare you to perform under pressure and help open doors as well as progress within your career.”

Ronan Kerr
who will compete in the Culinary Arts competition

Likewise, Andrius Simkus and Micah Anderson, are both excited about the upcoming national finals and have been working hard on perfecting their knowledge and skillsets in automation, with each hoping to emulate the success they achieved at regional level.

Martin Carberry Course Director at South West College, said: “Both learners encapsulate all the qualities of exemplary Apprentices and are recognised and held in high regard by the College and their respective Employers for their combination of Academic excellence and practical prowess and they have demonstrated initiative, ambition and focus from the outset.”

Noreen McGirr the HLA Manager, said: “the structured and Industry focused nature of Higher Level Apprenticeship Provision at South West College where Academic study and on the job training occur in unison has enabled the apprentices to learn and develop at an accelerated rate, the benefit of which has been further exemplified through their performances at the recent Regional Competitions.

South West College recognise that these competitions are so important in helping Students and Apprentices like Micah, and Andrius realise their true ability on a more Global platform.”

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What is WorldSkills?