A total of 51 competitors from colleges in South Wales have been awarded gold medals for their achievements following Thursday’s Skills Competition Wales awards.
South Wales won the highest number of gold medals of all Welsh regions, with competitors studying at Gower College Swansea, Cardiff, and Vale College and Coleg Gwent.
The announcement follows a series of regional competitions that took place across Wales, hosting a string of talented young people.
The competitors from South Wales challenged others in a number of different sectors to be named the best in their chosen skill including Popular Music, Digital Media, Personal Trainer and Enterprise.
More than 800 young people competed across Wales over the past three months, with 89 gold, 87 silver and 91 bronze medals awarded in total.
This year, the awards ceremony was held virtually, with six satellite events taking place at Welsh providers across the country, so that friends and families from all over Wales could watch. In Cardiff, students gathered at Cardiff and Vale college and ACT Training.
Funded by the Welsh Government and run by a dedicated network of colleges, work-based learning providers and employer-led organisations, through the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project, Skills Competition Wales aims to inspire and upskill future generations by developing young people’s vocational skills while celebrating their achievements.
Gold medallist Cerys Jenkins competed in the IT Software Solutions for Business category. They said: “I’m so happy to win a medal! But taking part was the main thing, I’m just happy that I’ve managed to take part!”
“I found the competition really well planned out, stuff was sent out prior to the event about what we needed to learn, and we were able to go through it with tutors beforehand. When it came to the competition, I felt confident to take part as I knew what was going to be involved!”
Subject to another round of applications, the finalists could go on to compete in the national and international competitions at WorldSkills UK, EuroSkills and WorldSkills international. Applications for this year’s WorldSkills UK competitions close later this month.
This October, Shanghai, China hosts the 46th WorldSkills Competition. In April fifteen competitors from across Wales fought for their place to represent Team UK on a global stage at the biennial WorldSkills International competition in Shanghai, China.
Minister of Economy, Vaughan Gething stated: “Young people in Wales hold the key to this country’s future success so it is great to see initiatives such as Skills Competition Wales and the Inspiring Skills project celebrate and showcase young talent.
“Skills Competition Wales helps to equip young people with the experience and skills they need for personal and professional development. It offers individuals the opportunity to build up their confidence and employability skills while allowing employers to teach job-specific skills.
“It’s vital we invest in our future generations and continue to provide opportunities such as Skills Competition Wales so that there is a platform for young people to showcase their abilities. Skills competitions provide a platform for people to progress and develop into highly skilled workers, therefore feedbacking back into the economy.”
Presenter, Ameer-Davies Rana, added: “It’s been an amazing opportunity being able to present the awards alongside Mari Lovgreen. We’ve awarded some tremendous talent across Wales and watching everyone’s families celebrate live at the watch parties added to the evening’s positive atmosphere.
“The competition was fierce this year, so congratulations to everyone who took part. It has been a real privilege to celebrate so many competitors’ achievements across a range of sectors and I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours.”
For more information on Skills Competition Wales and to be in with a chance to represent your country in 2023, visit https://inspiringskills.gov.wales/