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28th April 2017

Two Hull College students have been chosen to join Team UK to compete in WorldSkills 2017 later this year.

Students Josh Hunter and Steven Lodge will go on to the finals in Abu Dhabi as part of the UK team from 14 to 19 October, along with teams from around the globe, competing in Bricklaying and Patisserie and Confectionery respectively.

Both made it through to the final after being selected following a series of regional heats and European finals. Josh Hunter, studying on a Professional Construction Course, had won the Gold Medal for Bricklaying and was crowned the UK’s Best Young Bricklayer, while Steve Lodge, from the College’s School of Customer Service, Business & Leisure and now a full time chef at 1884 Dock St Hull, secured the Bronze medal in the Confectionery competition

Josh and Steve expertly showcased their talents in a range of live tasks at the UK finals attended by over 80,000 people, which tested their competency and skills levels. They were then selected to join Squad UK before successfully competing for the limited places available to represent the UK in WorldSkills Abu Dhabi this October.

They and 30 other talented skilled professionals will continue to undergo a rigorous regime of Olympic style training in preparation for the most intense week of competition imaginable.

WorldSkills UK, which helps young people ‘Go Further, Faster’, is spearheading the use of competition in the workplace, training centres, schools and colleges to inspire the next generation and fill the skills gap.

In addition to the two students, Phil Dixon, catering lecturer at the College, will also be jetting off to Abu Dhabi as World Skills expert for Patisserie and Confectionery.

WorldSkills UK CEO Dr Neil Bentley said: “This is a critical moment for the future of these inspirational young people – and our economy.

“The WorldSkills Finals in Abu Dhabi are more important than international sporting fixtures spurring on competitors to achieve the highest international standards to inspire more and more young people to get into apprenticeships and technical careers, getting them off to the best start in work and life.”

Michelle Swithenbank, Acting CEO of Hull College Group said, “Skills competitions have always been important to Hull College and we have an excellent track record of winners, but to have two of our students selected to represent the UK in an international contest really is testament to the dedication, hard work and effort that Steven and Josh, have put in over the last 2 years, along with the support from their teaching staff.”

“We have followed Steven and Josh’s progress closely and have watched them develop since the beginning stages of the competition and we are so proud of the fact they have now been chosen for Team UK.”

“Skills contests not only showcase the talent and commitment of students, but also the hard work and effort that comes from the tutors to achieve these results. The high level of skill needed to succeed at WorldSkills really highlights that Hull College is at the forefront of specialist training and fulfilling the skill needs of the region for future generations.”