Spring 09 - WorldSkills 2009

12/04/2013 11:04
The final members of Squad UK taking part in WorldSkills Calgary 2009 have been announced and will begin their preparations in earnest for what is claimed to be the biggest skills contest in the world.

Young hospitality stars selected for the UK skills squad could see themselves compete at WorldSkills 2009 in Canada. The latest Squad UK members have been chosen to be part of a 60 strong squad of skilled youngsters, with the hopes that they will be ready to move ahead into Team UK to take on the world’s best.

They won their places after a tough three day selection competition which took place at colleges including City College Coventry, North Warwickshire & Hinckley College, South Birmingham College, Warwickshire College and Stratford upon Avon College.

On the cooking front, they include: Oliver Lloyd from Claridge’s in London, Christopher Kenny from Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, and Adam Smith from The Ritz. Alistair Birt, an Uxbridge based student who studies at Thames Valley University and works at Tummies Bistro, Burnham, will compete in the confectionery category, and Katie Watson, who works for Gleneagles Hotel, in the restaurant service category.

Training managers for the cooking and confectionery categories are Michael Godfrey, executive head chef for Sodexo at Eton College, and Yolande Stanley, senior lecturer at Thames Valley University, respectively.

WorldSkills is an international skills competition held every two years, where 51 member countries meet and compete in more than 40 different vocational skills.

Squad UK will be increasing its training to ensure its place on Team UK who will compete at WorldSkills Calgary 2009 taking place in Canada from September 2-5. The final Team UK members will be announced in June.

At a special event at Canada House in London to celebrate the success of the squad so far, the importance of skills in the UK in the current economic climate were highlighted.

Simon Bartley, chief executive of UK Skills, who manage both Squad and Team UK, says that Squad UK has already shown that they have tremendous talent in their respective fields but all of the squad now face months of hard training to make sure they are world class in order to be able to compete at WorldSkills.

“We are all proud of these young people who are determined to make a difference in their careers and who are highlighting to the rest of the UK just how much young talent we actually have. In this current economic crisis it is more important than ever to make sure that this country has skilled people in the workforce. We need to be investing in this talent and preparing ourselves for the new challenges and competition that inevitably lies ahead. It is competitions such as WorldSkills which we hope will make people realise just what the UK has to offer.”

Independent education foundation Edge is the official supporter of both squads. The UK’s WorldSkills team is managed by UK Skills working in partnership with leading Government bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and key partners from the education and industry sectors. The competition will be held in London in 2011.

For further information visit www.ukskills.org.uk

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