Northern Ireland stars battle for place in world cup of skills
Employment Minister Stephen Farry has congratulated 17 Northern Ireland apprentices who have secured a place on the UK Squad for the WorldSkills 2015 Sao Paulo competition – the largest skills competition in the world.
Around 1,000 18 to 25-year-olds from all over the world come together every two years to compete for medals in more than 40 different skills, including electrical installation, car painting, web design, cooking and plumbing.
The minister said: "The UK Squad selection, which three of our colleges hosted, was a superb event.
"It gave us the opportunity to showcase the best of our vocational skills as well as welcoming young people from across the UK to sample the excellent facilities in our further education colleges.
"I am delighted with the high percentage of Northern Ireland competitors who have made it into the UK Squad.
"It again demonstrates the commitment to excellence shown by our young people, their trainers and employers and builds on the impressive record that Northern Ireland apprentices have demonstrated on the world stage."
The UK Squad will now spend the next 11 months training in their individual skill supported by their training provider, college, employer and a dedicated training manager.
In May next year, the members of Squad UK will compete for a place in the 37-strong team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills 2015 in Brazil.
The minister added: "All 17 Northern Ireland Squad members deserve the highest praise for their achievement in making it into Squad UK.
"I wish each squad member every success with the intense training schedule that lies ahead and I look forward to following their progress in the lead up to WorldSkills Sao Paulo next year."