Wales at WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015

The biggest skills competition on earth, WorldSkills, is staged once every two years. The 43rd WorldSkills was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil from 12-16 August 2015. Wales was a part of it.

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  1. Competing as part of Team UK were four from Wales: Eleni Constantinou (hairdressing), Owain Jones (carpentry), Elijah Sumner (automotive technology) and Luke Elsmore (industrial control).
  2. The 41 competitors that made up Team UK were among the grand total of 1,200 competitors from across the world.
  3. WorldSkills is big. Very big.
  4. A showcase of the world class skills of under 24 year olds from 62 countries and regions.
  5. Team UK achieved its best results ever.
  6. But more of that later.
  7. First, here's a shout-out to the support team.
  8. Team UK was supported by a strong group of Training Managers, including four from Wales: Ian Thompson, CNC Milling, of Grwp Llandrillo Menai; Mike David, Web Design, of Coleg Sir Gar; Gareth Evans, Carpentry, of Pembrokeshire College; and Wyn Pritchard, Manufacturing Team Challenge, formerly of Coleg Cambria.
  9. Three of the Welsh Training Managers trained UK competitors from outside of Wales, whilst Assistant Training Manager Gareth Evans got to support Wales' own Owain Jones.
  10. After all the months and years of training and regional, national and European-level competitions, there came the time to wave the team off to Brazil.
  11. Wales' four competitors and their families were the stars of the send-off in Cardiff, hosted by the Welsh Government, with a number of Assembly Members from different political parties and supporting organisations proud to wave them on their way.
  12. The Welsh Government had supported the Welsh competitors well before the final selection to Team UK.
  13. The Deputy Minister for Skills, Julie James, had taken a keen interest in their progress and the Department for Education and Skills had supported a team of mentors in the guise of Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project (ISEinWales), which is managed by Coleg Sir Gar.
  14. First of the four to address supporters was Owain Jones. He said was first encouraged to enter skills competitions by his tutors at Grwp Llandrillo Menai's Coleg Meirion Dwyfor.
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