Students from Nescot have won gold and silver at this year’s WorldSkills UK national finals at the LG Arena in Birmingham.
The four Media students who entered the Video Moving Image category as a team won silver at the competition, which ended on Saturday, while Microsoft IT Academy student Alex Kinsman won gold in Network Security.
Red Edge Training Company, the college’s partner, achieved two gold medals and one silver in Hairdressing.
“We were very proud to have eight Nescot students at the national finals of WorldSkills UK, and to come away with two medals is tremendous,” said Nescot Principal Sunaina Mann.
Alex, who studies part-time at the college while working full-time, made it to the national finals in the Microsoft Network Administrator category last year and said he would recommend taking part to anyone.
“I felt like I was much better prepared for it this year because I knew what to expect,” he said. “It’s an intense competition, everyone wants to win and there’s a lot of pressure.
“I worked really hard getting ready for it and really hard while I was there, but when they called me as the gold medal winner I was so shocked. It was such an honour.”
Alex paid tribute to the support he received from the IT team at Nescot, and said he is now hoping to do a Higher Apprenticeship in Computing with the college.
Also representing Nescot were Sinthu Chandralingam, who competed in the Network Security category; Tobi Adeyemi, who took part in the Cisco Network Technician Discipline; and Shane Carpenter, a finalist in the Microsoft IT Technician contest.
Shane, who won his category at the regional competition held at Nescot in June, did not finish in the top three at the nationals but said the experience has made him even more determined for 2014.
“There were so many people competing from all over the country competing in so many different areas, and the whole experience was amazing,” he said.
“When I was getting ready for the competition I worked really hard and came into college on Saturdays and during holidays so I’ve definitely improved my technical skills, but I think I’ve also gained confidence and other skills too.
“I was hoping to win a medal, particularly because my parents came to Birmingham to support me, but I think my nerves got the better of me.
“I’m hoping I can compete again next year, and if I get to the final I’ll have a chance to be chosen for the UK squad for WorldSkills in Brazil.”
Kali Draper-Ramm, Abigail Jackson, Jessica Taylor and Carly-Jade Wheeler, second-year Level 3 Media Production Extended Diploma students, described the competition as an ‘amazing’ experience.
The team were given two-and-a-half days and access to all areas to produce a corporate film but faced severe technical difficulties, finishing the assignment within 60 seconds of the deadline.
“It was an amazing experience, it was really hard work and quite stressful but we learnt so much by taking part,” said Abigail, who is hoping to study Editing and Post-Production at Ravensbourne in Greenwich next year.
“We had done a lot of work beforehand so we felt very prepared, but nothing can prepare you for what will happen on the day or how you’ll feel or react working under so much pressure.”
Kali, who is hoping to study at Bournemouth University next year, said: “We were really proud of what we produced and to come second, and I think our greatest strengths were our teamwork and time management.”
Jessica, who is considering studying a Higher National Diploma in Moving Image at Nescot, praised the winning team from Kendall College in Cumbria.
“The standard of their work was amazing, they worked really hard and they absolutely deserved to win,” she said.
Nescot’s partner Red Edge Training Company secured three medals, with Abi Morton winning gold in Advanced Hairdressing and Alyx Mills and Chloe Heath winning gold and silver in the Intermediate.
Elliott Weld, who won gold in the Moving Image competition last year and stayed at Nescot to do a Higher National Diploma, was invited back as a judge, while section leader Graham Chalk was asked to work at the competition as an ambassador for Media.
In the last five years, Nescot students have won two gold medals in Media and two in Computing, two silver medals in Computing and one in Media, and bronze in Media and Computing.
Last year Matthew Boddy, who was the silver medallist in Network Security, also gained a place on the IT team of the UK’s WorldSkills squad.
WorldSkills UK is a national contest aimed at driving excellence in workplace skills through competition.