Surrey's top young computing brains converged on Nescot College in Ewell for the UKWorldSkills IT regional Heats on Friday 6 May.
The prestigious skills contest, which sets youngsters tasks worthy of experienced industry professionals, saw the 19 Surrey students battle to be the best in categories like, Cisco Network Technician and Microsoft Network Administrator.
Andy Hall, WorldSkills UK competitions Project Manager was impressed to see how hard the students had worked to get their skills to the required levels.
‘Applications for the IT heats doubled this year and the standard has continued to impress. It’s no secret that the incredibly hard work put in by students and tutors gave Nescot the most people in the final last year. I am pleased to see some of their students back again to broaden their skills by competing in a different category.
Nescot students went on to take eight of the twelve medals on offer on the day. Awards were also won by Farnham 6th Form College and South Thames College.
For Nescot student Chris Twigger, 17, from Banstead, who won the Cisco Network Technician contest, competing in the WorldSkills has been a transformative experience.
‘I spent seven weeks preparing for these competitions, coming in to college in my free time and over the Easter break to train,’ he said.
‘I’ve learned a phenomenal amount and really enjoyed meeting the other competitors. ‘When they announced I’d won my heat, I felt so proud of myself. It wasn’t just winning on the day but all the effort I put in and how motivated I’ve been.’
For Nescot, hosting the event drew on all the college’s experience as a Microsoft and Cisco registered academy and its close partnerships with industry. With companies like IT provider and computer manufacturer Stone providing up to date technology for the contest and network security specialists Secutel running activities for spectators, the event celebrated the high levels of skill and aspiration in the British IT sector.
Stone CEO James Bird said, ‘Stone’s partnership with Nescot in the WorldSkills event demonstrates an ongoing pledge to encouraging IT talent and raising the profile of vocational skills.’
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