Newry’s Gavin Rice returns from Skills Show with Bronze medal

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Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
Newry’s Gavin Rice, a plumbing learner at Southern Regional College, is among 29 Northern Ireland competitors who have triumphed at the Skills Show in Birmingham who have brought home a total of seven gold, three silver and eight bronze medals, along with six competitors highly commended. The Skills Show is the UK’s largest skills and careers event and is designed to reward talent and drive up levels of expertise in apprenticeships, skills and further education. The UK’s most talented apprentices and learners competed at this year’s Show which took place from 13 to 15 November 2014 at the NEC, Birmingham. Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry commended the Northern Ireland medal winners for excelling in their skill area. “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.” Over 75,000 people attended the Skills Show and watched 588 apprentices and learners battle it out in 64 skills competitions, ranging from Forensic Science to Floristry, with the aim of being named ‘UK Champion’ in their chosen skill. Visitors to the Skills Show were also able to ‘Have a Go’ at different skills and meet with employers and advisors to receive the latest information on apprenticeships and other training opportunities. Outstanding competitors from this year’s WorldSkills UK Competitions may be invited to join the shortlist for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. WorldSkills is the world’s largest skills competition and Squad UK is currently in training for WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 which takes place from 11 to 16 August, 2015.
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