UPDATE - Congratulations Shane on winning a Medal of Excellence, you did fantastically and we couldn't be prouder.
UPDATE - Shane has been featured in a video posted by WorldSkillsUK at the end of day 1 of competition and their posts on Facebook and Twitter. Please comment, like, share and re-tweet to show Shane your support.
Nescot College IT apprentice Shane Carpenter is representing the UK against the world in the global finals of WorldSkills. Shane is the sole member of the IT Network Administration category in Team UK’s 34 member squad currently competing in Abu Dhabi. Other members, also apprentices and college students, are competing in the 51 categories such as visual merchandising, landscaping and cooking against teams from 76 other countries.
WorldSkills is the world’s biggest vocational education and skills excellence competition with the Abu Dhabi event being the 44th world final. It is designed to develop young people’s professional and technical skills to high levels of excellence, and enhance those attributes valued by employers.
WorldSkills is often referred to as the Olympics of skills training and Shane spent time at Loughborough University using the same training facilities as the UK Olympians, including access to a sports psychologist, to help develop mental and physical strength.
The event itself runs over 5 days with each day comprising a new task to be completed. These tasks are problem-solving and require mastery of Microsoft, Cisco and Linux applications – taught in courses offered by Nescot's IT Academy.
The challenges presented by WorldSkills and abilities needed to complete them have a real-world focus. Cyber Security is a theme likely to be present in many of the challenges set which are relevant to all businesses including Shane’s apprenticeship employer BAE Systems.
Croydon-born Shane was thrilled to be chosen and stated “Being selected to represent the UK is an extraordinary feeling with all the hard work and dedication towards training and preparing for the competition paying off. I still cannot believe I am representing the country”.
His preparation has taken more than 2 years including regional and national competitions under the guidance of many of Nescot’s IT lecturers, most notably Suresh Kumar who has overseen the College's WorldSkills participation since 2009. More than just the competition for medals, Suresh see WorldSkills as providing invaluable skills and experience in preparing students for their careers.
“Shane is just one example of how taking part in WorldSkills competitions can accelerate a young person’s career and help resolve many of the UK’s skills shortages,” explains Suresh. “As employers become more aware of the important role skills competitions play in the delivery of apprenticeship training; from raising technical skills levels to giving individuals the opportunity to develop attributes including confidence, team working, time management and ability to work under pressure, I am finding more and more are asking which of our learners have taken part in competitions,”
Involvement with WorldSkills competitions has impacted significantly on performance results. Nescot’s last OFSTED inspection report noted the competition activity as having a positive impact on the college and its students. The impact on learners from training for and entering competitions lead to the decision to embed the activity into the college’s curriculum programmes, so all learners and staff could benefit. By including previous test pieces into the teaching programmes, teaching staff have an industry approved, ready-made assessment tool that helps prepare learners for the demands of working in their chosen sector.
This has resonated with students in areas such as creative media, games design and hairdressing competing at various levels. They aim to add to Nescot’s proud legacy. Since 2009 the College has achieved 10 gold medals, six silver, four bronze, and have had three students selected to compete at the global finals. In 2014 and 2015 Nescot was ranked first in England. IT alumni have secured jobs at GCHQ, Sophos, BAE Systems, Compass Plus, Gamma, and Cisco.