As the WorldSkills UK Expert for Cabinet Making, Christian has successfully devised and delivered a training programme that saw the UK win gold medals at two consecutive competitions, WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 and WorldSkills São Paolo 2015, and Bronze at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.
Most recently, Christian was appointed MBE for services to the WorldSkills competitions and has been involved in designing the new trailblazer apprenticeships.
Christian uses his passion and talent to raise the ambitions of his students, helping them not only to compete against the best, but to be the best they can be. Importantly, he has fed his learning and Team UK experience back into his college, enhancing their course offering.
“Drawing on my experience of WorldSkills International competitions, I shape the curriculum to reflect the high standards on show at these exacting events. WorldSkills competitions are a fantastic opportunity for young Cabinet Makers to hone their skills and kick-start their careers, as well as providing an excellent source of international insight and innovation for the UK.
The UK boasts a reputation for high-quality craftsmanship and WorldSkills nations are keen to visit and learn from us. This year, Chichester College hosted a former gold medallist from Taiwan who trained with the current Team UK Cabinet Maker, Owen Aldous, for a month. This is a fantastic way for both students to learn and grow, sharing techniques and ways of working.”
Christian also sits on the Department for Education’s T-Level advisory panel, making sure that future technical qualifications reflect international standards to keep the UK competitive on the world stage.
“Christian’s work with WorldSkills UK as a training manager has not only added a level of prestige to the courses we offer, but it has also elevated the aspirations of our students,” says Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive at the Chichester College Group. He has trained two successive gold medal winners at the 2013 and 2015 WorldSkills championships – both Chichester College students who benefited not only from training under him for skills competitions, but also learning from him in the college workshops. He is always looking for ways to develop, innovate and improve, and we are lucky to be among the beneficiaries of that.”
How has your organisation benefited from participating in skills competition activity?
For our students, over the past decade or so, we have enabled so many young people to develop confidence in themselves and about their subject, as well as the ability to talk to the wider public. This had incredible impact on their communication skills as well as their employability. Those who take part in competitions raised their technical skills to exceptional standard. When they graduate they don’t have just a degree but also practical as well as soft skills which are great assets for their careers.
Getting involved in such activities has done wonders in developing a total team approach in how we work across disciplines.