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UK skills elite face challenge of a lifetime


This week 31 of the UK’s most highly skilled young people arrive in Montreal to face what is likely to be the greatest challenge of their working lives. They will be competing in the 35th World Skills Competition - the Skill Olympics - against the world’s skills elite – other young people who have made it to the top in their chosen vocational area. Occupational skills from IT to bricklaying and from industrial electronics to cookery will feature in the 1999 competition, with the UK competing for the first time in the IT PC support, floristry and beauty care categories.

Monitoring the progress of the UK team will be Education and Employment Minister Baroness Blackstone, who says:

"The World Skills Competition has a vital role to play in supporting the development of vocational skills. For each of the competing countries it represents a valuable opportunity to compete on an international platform and to benchmark against the very best in the world. I am delighted that the whole of the UK is represented in the team and that we are competing in a number of new sectors."

The UK team includes young people from all over the UK, with strong representation from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Simon Hulstone won a gold medal in cookery at the 1995 Skill Olympics in Lyon. He says:

"Since my success at the Skill Olympics my career has boomed. My gold medal has been a passport to bigger and better things – employers, for example, certainly sit up and pay attention when they see my CV. I have also been very much in demand as a team member in competitions as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, Canada and South Africa."

The 1999 competition opens on November 11that the Olympic Stadium and team members will have a total of 24 hours (spread over four days) in which to complete the demanding tests set by the international team of judges. Results and medal winners will be announced on November 17th.

Use the UK SKILLS Results Hotline: call 0800 3282278 from November 18th to learn how the UK team has fared in Montreal.

For further information about the World Skills Competition and UK SKILLS call Kathy Towers or Nicky Shaw at Pure PR on 0114 230 9112 or e-mail [email protected] or [email protected]. Alternatively visit the websites for UK SKILLS at
World Skills at http://www.35mondial.comand IVTO on


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