THE UK’s top apprentices have clinched gold at an international event dubbed the Skills Olympics.
The WorldSkills Finals is held every two years to showcase apprenticeships and technical skills.
This week saw the 37 members of Team UK pick up 19 medals: two gold, one silver, one bronze and 15 medallions of excellence, meaning students met world-class standards.
More than 250,000 people gathered in Kazan, Russia, for the spectacular closing ceremony which was addressed by President Putin.
Both the opening and closing ceremonies were televised in the UK for the first time. Every team member is under 25 and winning a medal marks you out as a future leader in your industry.
Youngsters with potential are identified by governing body WorldSkills UK, which selects and trains the team before each event.
Neil Bentley-Gockmann, head of the organisation, said: “This is a fantastic result for the team and the UK as a whole.
“I couldn’t be prouder. This was the ultimate test and they stepped up to the mark. Team UK championed the nation’s focus on skills development in front of a global audience, sending a strong message that it is a world-class place to invest, do business and create jobs.”
The big winners
AMONG the top medallists was Rebecca West, 22, from Lewes, East Sussex, who won gold in the Beauty Therapy category.
She wiped away tears as she thanked everyone who helped her be the very best.
Rebecca, pictured, said: “I had no idea I was in the running to get gold – this will change my life. I have put thousands of hours in to being the best, now I intend to celebrate.”
Haydn Jakes, 23, from Cambridge, scooped gold in Aircraft Maintenance. He said: “This means the world to me, now I will move heaven and earth to pass on my skills and experiences to others in the system. I am already giving lectures to school children and I will certainly be doing a lot more now.”
To support Team UK and find out more, see worldskillsuk.org/
Our holiday guilt
TWO in three employees have experienced “guilty holiday syndrome” – the nagging urge to cancel or delay a break away due to anxieties about work, new research has shown.
The study found 66 per cent of working women and 59 per cent of men felt ashamed about taking time off in the last year.
Senior managers were the most likely employees to feel guilty, followed by human resources staff.
Chieu Cao, Co-founder at Perkbox, which commissioned the survey, said: “It’s crucial to remember that holiday allowance is there for a reason – to switch off and recharge your batteries. Senior managers should lead by example on this.”
KENT-based CAPELWOOD UTILITIES are seeking Grab Drivers and Mates. Call 01634 671034 for more details.
Fitting in at 55
HEALTH chain David Lloyd Clubs is hiring a fitness trainer aged 55-plus in all its 99 locatons.
Personal trainer Mark Jerling, 57, from Poling, West Sussex, said: “This is definitely the most rewarding job I have ever done.
“I assist people in becoming healthier, fitter, stronger and, hopefully, more fulfilled.”
Jon Kohn, of the health chain, said: “We are looking for people who are passionate about fitness.”
Find out more, including what qualifications you need, at davidlloyd.co.uk/news/active-ageing.
ESSENTIAL WATER SERVICES are hiring water utility teams. Contact 01462 675 769 to apply.
One way to be in charge
IF you aim to be your own boss but don’t know where to start, have a look at a franchise. Tomorrow has been branded Franchise Appreciation Day, to get people to look at instant set-up businesses.
Randle Stonier, founder of Mywaggytailsbusiness.co.uk, has pointers to see if a franchise is right for you.
- Work out if you have a passion for the franchise or just for the money? Setting up and running a franchise is a big investment of your time and money, so if you’re not interested in the franchise subject, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
- Do your homework on your prospective market. How has it performed over the last five to ten years? What are the current consumer trends? Go into it with eyes wide open.
- Work out how much you can potentially earn and how many hours a week you need to graft to earn this. Is this compatible to your needs?
- Franchises have ongoing costs. While potential earnings might convince you it’s worth taking a risk, it is likely to take a while for your business to get going, so make sure you can pay your bills while you build business.
- Research the franchise business you are hoping to sign up to. Do they have a proven success rate? Is the franchise a member of the British Franchise Association, Approved Franchise Association or a major trade association? Know your stuff.