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Competition tests vocational skills to the limit


Over the last few weeks, 29 young people from the UK have seen their skills tested to the limit in South Korea, as they compete in the World Skills Competition in Seoul.

From 13–16 September, the event saw bricklayers, chefs, hairdressers, painters and stonemasons, among others, between the ages of 18 and 22 come together from 35 different countries to compete for a gold medal. British competitors included hairdresser Kelly Hodges and bricklayer Darren Davis, both of whom were displaying their skills in South Korea's huge COEX complex.

The competition was set up in 1950 as a competition between Spain and Portugal as a way of highlighting trades skills, and now runs every two years in one of the 30 or so member countries. Linda Ammon, Chief Executive of UK Skills (the organisation responsible for the UK team) says that the competition is a way of giving vocational skills an emphasis which they don't often receive in the UK, given its emphasis on academic ability: "Investing in high quality vocational education and training is vital to the success of the future economy, but its importance is often underrated. This amazing competition highlights just how important vocational training really is and encourages others to take this route into learning."

The results of the competition will be published shortly.


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