Eleven talented students from NWSLC have reached the national finals of the Foundation Skills competition which is designed for those with special educational needs and disabilities. The students join around 60 of their peers to test their skills in ten Foundation Skills competitions at venues across the UK for the chance to win gold, silver, and bronze medals. The medal ceremony will take place on 26 November 2021 as part of Steph McGovern’s Channel 4 ‘Packed Lunch’ TV show.

NWSLC finalists will compete in five competitions and include Kelys Ramsay and Sinead Hitchman who will test their skills in hairdressing, and Casey McFarlane and Georgina Price who will compete in the catering skills competition. William Race, Nathaniel Hale and Hadyn Hill are through to the media finals while Emily Archer, Callum Hearne and Lewis Smith are all due to compete in the health and social care category. Samuel Barnes has reached the final of the motor vehicle competition.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, who is also deputy chair and trustee of WorldSkills, said, “It’s fantastic news that so many of our students have succeeded in reaching the finals of this prestigious national skills competition. They richly deserve their places in the finals and have successfully shown that they can compete on a national stage.

“Enabling young people to access the skills they need to succeed in work and life has never been more important. Regardless of their starting point, everyone deserves a chance to do the best they can in their chosen skill area. At NWSLC, we are passionate about helping students with special educational needs and disabilities to progress into work and we believe that doing well in skills competitions can provide them with a great foundation as well as challenging them to aspire to exciting future careers. We are particularly proud of our involvement in this competition which was originally conceived and first started by NWSLC.”

Foundation Skills competitions are designed for students who have an Educational Healthcare plan (EHCP) and/or additional requirements or disabilities. The ten specially designed competitions allow students to showcase skills, knowledge and behaviours that highlight their independence and employability skills.

Ben Blackledge, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of WorldSkills UK said, “We are delighted to now have the full finalists’ line up ahead of this month’s competitions. We are really excited to be taking the show on the road this year with finals hosted by colleges, training providers and employers across the UK.

“The range of competitions within the Foundation Skills portfolio helps students develop their skills in vocational areas, as well as developing their soft and employability skills. The organisations that take part in these competitions benefit from alternative assessment methods, as well as resources to help learners develop.”

Last month, the college announced that fourteen of its students have reached the national finals of WorldSkills UK and will now compete for the chance to join Team UK on an international stage at the ‘Skills Olympics’ in Shanghai in 2022.

Alumni from NWSLC are already training to represent the UK on the world’s stage at the bi-annual WorldSkills competition in Shanghai in October 2022. Former student and Nuneaton chef Chloe Lloyd-Hughes will compete in the culinary arts category while Ellie Ruff will take on challenges in visual merchandising. Both are members of the prestigious WorldSkills UK Talent Development Programme after previously excelling in its national skills competitionsv