Talented students from Lanarkshire strike gold at prestigious awards finals

Five incredibly talented students from Lanarkshire look to have glittering careers in front of them after they struck gold at the UK’s most prestigious skills competition.

Three of them are studying at New College Lanarkshire, the others at Glasgow City College.

They were among 13 Scots, eight of them from the Glasgow college, who were announced as winners at this year’s WorldSkills UK National Finals.

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They triumphed in 10 competitions ranging from painting and decorating to cooking – with many proving to be the best of the best in cutting edge digital skills such as digital construction, digital media and 3D game design.

Of the three NCL students, Paul Hudson from Shotts took gold in digital construction, Clark McGeechan from Motherwell won in the mechanical engineering: CAD category, and Izaac Bharwani from Carluke came out as top IT support technician.

The other winners from Lanarkshire were Nathan Gray from Wishaw and Joshua Valenti from Coatbridge who made up half of Glasgow City College’s four-strong winning team in digital media production.

Clark McGeechan took the gold in Mechanical Engineering: CAD
(Image: DKPR)

The competition also boosted gender diversity with the top three performers in painting and decorating being female.

Apprentice painter and decorator, Nicole Smith, 24, who works for the Bell Group UK took gold.

More than 400 young students and apprentices took part in the finals, in over 60 disciplines held at 21 venues across the UK.

They underwent a seven-month process of regional heats and intensive training before competing in the finals.

Paul Hudson was tops in the Digital Construction category
(Image: DKPR)

They learned of their victory during a special live programme from Channel 4’s Packed Lunch studios, presented by Steph McGovern.

He said: “Thirteen gold medallists from Scotland – that is just brilliant. Everyone should be jumping for joy…what an early Christmas present that is. They must have put in some graft to smash it like that.”

Martin McGuire, WorldSkills UK director for Scotland, says that success in UK-wide finals is a litmus test for the future of the economy in Scotland.

“Congratulations to all competitors from Scotland on another terrific medal haul at the National Finals.

“It’s of great credit to them, and their tutors, and a fantastic endorsement of our skills system.

“These young people are a real inspiration.

“They are an example to us all and are to be congratulated. They have excelled after one of the most difficult years that anyone can remember. Their dedication and drive has been second to none.

“Skills are the lifeblood of every economy, creating high quality jobs, rewarding careers, inward investment and growth.”

Daily Record – Motherwell