Skilled Scottish Stars Celebrated at Parliament following Global Success

Talented students and staff from Scotland’s Further Education Colleges were honoured at Parliament today (Wednesday 11 January) following their global success in WorldSkills, known as the ‘Skills Olympics’.

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Mona Nawaz, Simona Federova, Jamie Hepburn MSP, Michael McGuire Director Scotland at WorldSkills UK, Connor Cruden and George Hutchinson

Taking place from September to November last year, the biennial WorldSkills Competition saw over 1000 young people compete in 15 countries.  Scotland entered five competitors as part of Team UK and they were awarded four Medallions for Excellence, which are presented to those who reach the world class standard in their skill. 

This impressive performance saw Scotland achieve a fantastic result in digital skills, beating China, Germany and Singapore in the medal table.  Overall, Team UK came tenth in the world.     

Youth Employment and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn said:

“It’s great to see students and young professionals from Scotland represent our country fantastically well on the international stage. Their hard work and intensive preparation is something to be proud of.

“I have no doubt that their success and endeavours will encourage others to get involved in our excellent skills system.”

Representing Scotland and UHI Moray was:

  • Connor Cruden who competed in Plumbing and Heating.  Connor attends UHI Moray and works for Cowie Plumbing and Heating in Turriff, Aberdeenshire.  Connor competed in Germany. 

Representing Scotland were:

  • George Hutchinson who competed in 3D Digital Game Art.  George attended City of Glasgow College and is now studying at the University of West Scotland.  George competed in Korea.  
  • Mona Nawaz who competed in Digital Construction.  Mona attended New College Lanarkshire and now works for Balfour Beatty.  Mona competed in France.  
  • Lewis Batchelor who competed in Mechanical Engineering CAD.  Lewis attended New College Lanarkshire and now works for Probe Test Solutions in Hamilton.  Lewis competed in France.   
  • Simona Federova who competed in Restaurant Services.  Simona attended City of Glasgow College and now works at Gleneagles.  Simona competed in Switzerland.  

Medallions for Excellence were awarded in 3D Digital Game Art, Digital Construction, Plumbing and Heating and Restaurant Services.    

Also honoured at the event, were the following WorldSkills UK Training Managers, who have responsibility for preparing Team UK members to compete at the international WorldSkills event.

WorldSkills UK, which is responsible for managing the UK’s entry into WorldSkills, uses insight gained from the global skills event to raise standards in apprenticeships and technical education in Scotland and across the UK.  Working with the Scottish team members, WorldSkills UK will use their inspirational stories to motivate young people across Scotland, whatever their background, to choose high-quality apprenticeships and technical education as prestigious career routes. 

Martin McGuire, Director for Scotland at WorldSkills UK, said:

“The success of Scottish competitors shows both the appetite and aptitude that young people across the country have for skills.

“Being part of the WorldSkills UK network provides unique access for us to learn from other countries and transfer those insights to drive up training standards, raising the profile and prestige of skills in Scotland.”

The next WorldSkills Competition will take place in Lyon, France in 2024.  The young people from Scotland who have been selected to train for WorldSkills 2024 will be announced in February.