A student at Southern Regional College in Banbridge is among over 30 local young people competing for a place to represent the UK at WorldSkills 2015 in Brazil.
Level 5 HND Health and Social Care learner Nikita Harron from Dromore will be among over 160 of the UK’s most talented apprentices and learners battling it out over three days this month of intense competition in Northern Ireland with the hope of securing a place in Squad UK for WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015.
This is the first time the Squad Selection competition has taken place in Northern Ireland.
Nikita is also a volunteer with Praxis Care, working with people with learning disabilities.
She said: “I am excited to be taking part in the competition. Having the chance to compete at this level will be a great learning experience. I hope that my skills, knowledge and hard work will enable me to perform well and achieve a place in the UK team for Brazil.”
Anna Shortt, Deputy Head of School of Early Years & Health Care at SRC, coached and mentored Nikita in preparation for the competition. Anna said “It has been an honour and a privilege to coach Nikita for this.
“The quality of care displayed by Nikita in her work placements and in her written assignments has been outstanding and a pleasure for me to observe.”
Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry said: “The selection of Northern Ireland Colleges to showcase the best of UK skills is an acknowledgement of the high quality skills in professional and technical areas, coupled with the state-of-the-art facilities in the FE sector in Northern Ireland. The competitions showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through quality training, inspiring young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level.”
The competitors, all of whom are under 25 years of age, were invited to take part in the selection process for Squad UK after excelling at the WorldSkills UK National Competitions.
The event is expected to bring up to 400 visitors to Northern Ireland including over 130 GB competitors, WorldSkills UK judges, training managers, performance coaches, employers and competitors’ family members.
Participating in WorldSkills enables countries to share best practise in apprenticeships and vocational teaching, raising standards on a global scale. Squad and Team UK is managed by WorldSkills UK, part of Find a Future.