Competitors shine as fifth Skills Show hailed a big success. The very best in the UK were named Skills Show 2016 champions on a triumphant night for the future of the economy.
More than 500 talented young people took part in competitions covering 61 different skills over three days at Birmingham’s NEC in front of thousands of visitors.
Independent judges assessed the work of competitors, choosing the winners who were presented with their gold medals at a ceremony on Saturday evening (Nov 19).
Dr Neil Bentley, CEO WorldSkills UK, said: “It has been an incredible, inspiring and hugely successful Skills Show culminating in a ceremony to honour the very best young talent Britain has to offer. I would like to congratulate all the gold medal winners – indeed everyone who made it into the national finals.
“Over the three days of the event they have showcased their skills to tens of thousands of visitors from construction to engineering to hospitality and services. Sign up Saturday has seen 20,000 job and training opportunities up for grabs from the biggest businesses to the smallest.
“We are proud to have the support of so many companies in so many sectors and of the competition organisers which make The Skills Show the UK’s most innovative skills event. The medal winners will be rightly celebrated by their family, friends and colleagues but also by all of us – they are our future and role models to inspire the next generation of talent into fulfilling careers with skills at their heart.”
During a visit to the Skills Show Robert Halfon MP, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, hailed the three-day event (Nov17-19) as a crucial date in the UK calendar to help bridge a ‘complex’ skills shortage which had arisen over the last five years.
He said the tens of thousands of young people flocking to the NEC marked the future of the workplace in a fast-changing working environment.
The Minister said of the Show: “It is incredible. This is one of the most important days in the skills calendar.
“There is the best of Britain in this room.
“We’ve got hundreds of companies here, the public sector, skills competitors and people demonstrating skills. This is the best of the UK – this is the future of our country right here.
“We must have the best skills in this country to compete with the rest of the World.
“In this hall is the best of Britain in terms of skills and apprenticeships – and this what our country is going to become.”
Among the many employers represented were JLR, BAE Systems, Airbus Operations, Qinetiq, Barclays, Toyota, Veolia, Royal Mail, O2, BBC, Virgin Media, NHS Health Careers, Costa and Kia
As well as the competitions at The Skills Show, a series of high profile speakers gave inspiring spotlight talks, seminars and there were Have-a-go opportunities in dozens of skills disciplines.