Cumbernauld students do Lanarkshire proud in Worldskills UK competition

Written by Scott Campbell. Scott Campbell
Published at 14:50 on 3 May 2014.
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Cumbernauld College is part of New College Lanarkshire. Pic: Cumbernauld Media.

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STUDENTS at New College Lanarkshire have shown that Cumbernauld has talent, with 11 students at the new institution bringing home awards from the national skills competition, WorldSkills UK, for their outstanding work. 

Held in Birmingham, more than 700 of the UK’s most talented apprentices, employees and learners battled it out in 70 competitions to be named the ‘best in the UK’ in their chosen skill sector. Of the 235 organisations that participated, New College Lanarkshire’s success saw the institution take the top spot on the leader board – earning it the title of ‘best in the UK’. 

As part of the New College Lanarkshire winning dream team, four people won gold, five won silver and two other students took home the bronze.

Richard Miller, 19, took home gold in the IT Support Technician, Advanced Level. The Motherwell local is currently working towards his HNC in Computing. 

Commenting on his win, he said: “Taking part in WorldSkills UK was a nerve wracking and exciting experience. I have never been away from home before so to go and compete with the best in the industry was really different.

“I was shocked when I realised I had won the gold, it was just a great and awesome experience and in the end New College Lanarkshire stole the show,” he added.

Kim Reid is a second student who brought home hold. She took part in the IT Software Solutions for the Business category, Open Level. The 18-year-old, from Lanark, is currently studying on the HND Computing Software Development course. 

In the Mechanical Engineering: CAD category, 23-year-old Bellshill local, Blane Mulholland, and Andrew Beel, 18, from East Kilbride, make up the final two contestants from New College Lanarkshire who brought back the gold, after winning in the advanced and higher levels of the contest. Both students are enrolled on the HND Computer Aided Draughting and Design course. 

Meanwhile, bringing home the silver for the cabinet was Shona McGarrity, in the IT Software Solutions for Business Skill, and Neil Pardoe who competed in the IT Support Technician category. In the Network Systems Administrator Skill, Jack Scott came in second place, scooping a silver accolade, while Dylan Van Belkum joined him after achieving success in Mechanical Engineering: CAD competition.  Thomas Beeston won the final silver winner following a strong performance in the Network Infrastructure Technician Skill. 

The bronze medal winners were Michael Shepperd, who competed in the Network Infrastructure Technician Skill; and David Hogg, following his hard-work in the Network Systems Administrator competition, whilst four other students from New College Lanarkshire received highly commended awards for their efforts. 

Commenting, Martin McGuire, Principal of New College Lanarkshire, congratulated the students for their “phenomenal achievement”. 

He said: “WorldSkills UK is a prestigious competition which attracts competitors from across the whole of the UK.  

“We know we have some extremely talented and skilful students but to be awarded 11 medals and come top of the leader board at WorldSkills UK is a phenomenal achievement. 

“The work ethic and determination shown by the students of New College Lanarkshire is remarkable and I am extremely proud of each of them.

“This success also demonstrates the efforts of our staff to ensure the College is offering the best possible provision for skills development and this emphasis will continue as we move forward.” 

Michael Russell, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, has also sent his congratulations to the students and the College, and described the wins as an “incredible achievement”. 

He said: “I would like to congratulate all 11 students and New College Lanarkshire on this incredible achievement at the WorldSkills UK competition. 

“Colleges of scale are able to compete in this way nationally and internationally, and this shows how important regionalisation has been.

“The number of awards across so many disciplines is a wonderful showcase of the expertise our colleges have in not only educating students, but at helping them hone their skills into the foundation of a career that they can enjoy pursuing.

“Richard, Kim, Blane, Andrew, Shona, Neil, Jack, Dylan, Thomas, Michael and David have done extremely well and are a credit to New College Lanarkshire and I am sure this is just the start of impressive things for them all.”

New College Lanarkshire is a newly merged college, operating with campuses across North Lanarkshire after both Cumbernauld and Motherwell campuses joined together on November 1st, last year. The College has campuses in Coatbridge, Cumbernauld, Kirkintilloch and Motherwell. 
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