Eight Glasgow college students win gold at skills competition

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Eight Glasgow college students are among 13 brilliant young Scots who have struck gold at the UK’s most prestigious skills competition– the WorldSkills UK National Finals.

They triumphed in 10 competitions ranging from Painting & Decorating to Cooking – with many proving to be the best of the best in cutting edge digital skills such as Digital Construction, Digital Media and 3D Game Design.

No less than eight of the gold medalists - which includes a four-strong Digital Media Production Team - attend City of Glasgow College.

What Glasgow students won gold?

Elvijs Dovans - 3D Digital Game Art

Gabriela Kulesza - Culinary Arts

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Nathan Gray, Jack Houston, Flynn Smith and Joshua Valenti - Digital Media Production

Anthony Lockhart - IT Software Solutions for Business

Alex McCathie - Restaurant Service

What are the winners saying?

Apprentice painter and decorator, Nicole Smith from Glasgow, has been painting the town red having won gold – becoming the very best young person in her sector.

Nicole, who works for the Bell Group UK, said: “I’m still pretty shell shocked about the whole experience let alone winning anything!

“It was a massive achievement even qualifying for the final of such a prestigious event, so everything else was just added extras.

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“I’m only the 3rd woman to win in this category which is massive but also only a small insight into the future.

“An almost complete female final in a male dominated industry is huge with an all-female top 3 will do big things for encouraging more women into our industry. I feel very honoured and overwhelmed by the whole experience and winning has just been the cherry on top of the cake.”

What was the competition?

More than 400 young students and apprentices took part in the finals, in over 60 disciplines held at 21 venues across the UK.

They underwent a seven-month process of regional heats and intensive training before competing in the finals.

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They learned of their victory during a special live programme from Channel 4’s Packed Lunch studios, presented by Steph McGovern.

What are the organisers saying?

Martin McGuire, WorldSkills UK director for Scotland, said that success in UK-wide finals is a litmus test for the future of the economy in Scotland: “Congratulations to all competitors from Scotland on another terrific medal haul at the National Finals. It’s of great credit to them, and their tutors, and a fantastic endorsement of our skills system.

“These young people are a real inspiration. They are an example to us all and are to be congratulated. They have excelled after one of the most difficult years that anyone can remember. Their dedication and drive has been second to none.

“Skills are the lifeblood of every economy, creating high quality jobs, rewarding careers, inward investment and growth.”

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