Team GB flourishes at WorldSkills event in Brazil

Seven British apprenticeships secured a medal at this year’s WorldSkills event in São Paulo, with one young recruit winning best overall WorldSkills competitor, a first for Team GB.

WorldSkills is the largest skills competition on the planet, and has taken place every two years since its inception in 1950.

Between the 11th and 16th August, nearly 1000 apprentices from around the world competed against each other to be crowned the best apprentice in their chosen field.

Team GB, which consisted of 40 apprentices all aged 18-25, had 37 different skill sets between them and had all been training for the event since 2013.

Great Britain enjoyed one of their most successful WorldSkills campaigns, gaining three Gold, three Silver and two Bronze medals.

The apprentices also secured 25 Medallions for Excellence, an accolade that recognises the attainment of world-class standards in their chosen skill.

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One of the biggest success stories of the campaign came from beauty therapist Rhianne Chester, who received the Albert Vidal award for best overall WorldSkills competitor. This is the first time that a British competitor has won the award.

‘‘Being selected for Team UK was an amazing achievement in itself, but to come home with a gold medal and be named the best young beauty therapist in the world is such an incredible feeling,’’ explained Chester

‘‘To lift the Albert Vidal Award as well, for scoring the most points of any of the competitors, is a dream come true.  The whole of Team UK worked really hard and the experience of the competition is something we will never forget.  We have all learnt so much during the process – knowledge and new skills that we can take with us as we progress in our careers.’’

David Cameron and Skills minister Nick Boles have publically praised Team GB for their efforts, with the Prime Minister writing a letter to each individual competitor.

‘‘Team UK demonstrates how the best of our apprentices and vocational learners can compete at the highest international level,’’ stated Cameron.

‘‘The skills they were competing in are vital for the long-term success of our economy.  It is also important to remember that they are role models for the next generation of apprentices and vocational learners, who will be inspired by the team’s achievements in Brazil.’’