The UK has announced its chosen Squad for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world, at The Skills Show, which took place at the NEC Birmingham from 19 to 21 November.  

The apprentices and learners, all of whom are aged between 18 and 25, earned their places in Squad UK after excelling in the national finals of the WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions at The Skills Show.  The competitors took part in the competitions over three days, demonstrating their skills and knowledge in front of an audience of 75,000 people who were attending The Skills Show.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: 

“The young people who have earned a place on Squad UK are worthy ambassadors and demonstrate how high quality apprenticeships and technical training can be a fast-track to a top career. I congratulate each and every member of Squad UK and look forward to hearing about their preparations for 2017’s competition in Abu Dhabi.”

Held every two years, the WorldSkils international competition sees around 1000 young people, aged 18-25, from all over the world come together to compete for medals in more than 40 different skills including Electrical Installation, Welding, Web Design, Cooking and Bricklaying.  WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 will take place from 14 to 19 October, 2017.

Dr Neil Bentley, CEO, Find a Future, which manages the UK’s entry into the WorldSkills Competition said:  “I offer my huge congratulations to every young person who has secured a place in Squad UK at The Skills Show 2015.

“By competing in the WorldSkills Competition, the UK is able to share best practice in apprenticeships, further education and skills with countries around the world, raising standards on a global scale. Additionally, by using the knowledge gained from competing at WorldSkills, we know we are working to international benchmarks that will ultimately equip more young people to help UK business better compete globally.”    

Members of Squad UK will now participate in a training and development programme which will include the selection of Team UK ahead of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.  The development programme will include a series of milestones and benchmarks which Squad UK Competitors must achieve to progress.

The UK is seventh in the WorldSkills rankings after winning three Gold, four Silver and two Bronze Medals at WorldSkills São Paulo which took place in August 2015.  At this competition the UK was also awarded 24 Medallions of Excellence, given to those competitors in Team UK who reached the world class standard in their skill.

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