A Dromore student was among the Northern Ireland competitors who won an impressive 19 medals in the Skills Show at Birmingham’s NEC recently.
Nikita Harron (19), who studies caring at the Southern Regional College in Banbridge, picked up one of eight bronze medals to come home to Northern Ireland.
The bronze medals, along with seven gold and four silver were awarded in skills ranging from electrical installation and automotive body repair to landscape gardening, caring and popular music.
Northern Ireland competitors were also awarded five commendations in hairdressing and construction skills.
The Skills Show is the UK’s largest skills and careers event, celebrating the importance of skills to economic growth. Taking part enables competitors to build on their skills, test their knowledge against their peers and showcase their potential to current and future employers.
During the three days of the show, more than 700 of the UK’s most talented apprentices and learners competed in front of 100,000 visitors in the WorldSkills UK National competition finals to aspire to be the best in the UK in their skill area.
Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry commended the Northern Ireland medal winners for excelling in their skill area.
He said: “This is an excellent achievement for Northern Ireland. It is a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the high level of skills we possess and the impressive talent of our workforce.
“It reflects the high standards of training in our colleges and the commitment to excellence demonstrated by the competitors.
“Northern Ireland should feel very proud of such an inspiring performance on the UK stage.
“It takes hard work, determination and a high level of skill to compete against the UK’s most talented apprentices and learners.
“Northern Ireland enjoys an impressive track record at skills competitions at regional, national and world level, and our local competitors’ success at the Skills Shows builds on this outstanding record of achievement.”
Competitors from the Skills Show may be eligible to compete for a place in the team that will represent the UK at the next WorldSkills competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in August 2015.
The WorldSkills Competition takes place every two years in cities around the globe and is the largest international skills competition in the world.