Name: Jordan Cliffe
Skill: Architectural Stonemasonry
College: Building Crafts College
Jordan from Ramsgate will be representing Team UK in Architectural Stonemasonry. It’s all part of the journey for Jordan.
“At school I did work experience and really enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so when I saw that my employer Canterbury Cathedral was offering an apprenticeship I jumped at the chance.”
It was while working that he was first introduced to WorldSkills UK competitions, first by a colleague who had been through it himself and then his tutor who put him forward.
“My favourite part of the competitions has been learning new ways of working and developing my mindset. Before I competed I may have seen a time limit and thought it wasn’t possible. But now I believe more in myself and realise what is possible despite the challenges.”
One challenge that has affected all competitors recently has been COVID-19. “Stonemasonry is very physical. We’ve had to adapt our training, for example, doing more drawings that we can share and discuss as a group. But everyone is in the same boat.”
Back in December 2019, Jordan was told he’d made Squad UK and he’s since received world-class training. “It’s a big learning curve, you develop excellence so much working with the Training Managers and other squad members. It was always my goal to make Squad UK so it was really exciting to make it.”
Receiving this training, Jordan believes has helped his work and career. “My employers are really proud. It’s led me to getting more complex work that usually would be reserved for more experienced people. I love it.”
And then recently Jordan received the news he’d make Team UK to compete in EuroSkills Graz. “It was a very happy day. I was confident but I’m sure everyone else was too. I said beforehand that I’d done everything I could so I wouldn’t have had any regrets. Even now it’s still mad to think that I’m going to be competing for Team UK.”
“I love competing, doing what I can on a big stage and hopefully getting a medal for Team UK. If anyone is thinking of entering a WorldSkills UK competition then do it. If your tutor is suggesting you apply then they think you’re good enough so seize it, it’s a great experience.”