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WorldSkills UK LIVE 2019 – Best College in England!

Students from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College have triumphed at the national finals of the WorldSkills UK LIVE competition, putting the college in first place in England after winning five Gold medals, six Silver and three Bronze medals overall.

WorldSkills UK LIVE is an inspirational showcase designed to highlight the latest training, education and job opportunities. As part of the three-day event at the NEC in Birmingham, students from across the UK who have been successful in regional heats compete with their peers in around 70 skills challenges. Twenty-one students from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College took part, having already achieved success in regional heats. The competitions culminated in a glittering awards ceremony on Saturday, 23 November.

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: “We are delighted that so many of our students have excelled this week and congratulate them all on their achievements. They have benefited from some fantastic support from their tutors who consistently go the extra mile to help them practice and prepare themselves as well as they can.”


Digital Media Production – Silver

Silver medals were collected by Digital Media Production team Holly Johnson, 17 from Nuneaton, Joe Taplin, 19 also from Nuneaton, Sam Hemmings, 18 from Bedworth and Megan Dawes, 17, from Hinckley – for their work in producing a 90-second newsreel package on the WorldSkills UK event during which they demonstrated skills in directing, producing and editing. All the students are currently in the second year of a Level 3 Media course at the college’s creative arts campus in Hinckley.

Holly has won prizes in regional competitions before and entered to get some good experience that will help her build a reputation for well-developed skills and add to her CV. Holly loves films and is highly creative. She has an ambition to become a producer in the future and believes that success in WorldSkills will help her career goals. Holly has benefited from plenty of support from her tutors with whom she has built good relationships.

Joe has seen success before, winning a Gold medal at Inclusive Skills in 2017. Joe is entering the competition to gain practical and technical skills because he wants to work as a media technician, working on film and TV in future. His tutors helped him to improve by focusing on every detail and giving him tips along the way.

Sam entered WorldSkills to boost his CV and enable him to hone his professional skills. Sam is interested in keeping up with the latest technology and his tutor recommended that he competes in order to take advantage of as many learning opportunities as possible. Sam is committed to a career in the media industry and believes that competition success will help him to secure a place at university and future employment. Sam has benefited from support with his autism and ADHD which has enabled him to progress.

Megan Dawes – As part of the competition, Megan demonstrated her camera and editing skills. She has previous experience in regional drama competitions for LAMDA. Megan believes that competition experience will help with her CV and boost her reputation. Through acting, Megan became interested in scriptwriting and editing and wants to become a screenwriter in future. She finds her tutors friendly and supportive.


Ellie Ruff, Visual Merchandising – Silver

Picking up a Silver medal for visual merchandising skills, Ellie Ruff, 17 from Nuneaton was tasked with creating a themed retail window display with the theme of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Ellie is studying a Level 3 qualification in graphic design at the college’s creative arts Hinckley Campus.

Ellie is highly creative and enjoys bringing graphic design to life in 3D. Her tutors have supported her with extra time to practice for the competition and she is benefiting from plenty of experience. Ellie said that coming to college was ‘the best choice ever’ and she is really enjoying her course. Ellie is keen to make a name for herself and wants to become a graphic designer after she has been to university. She believes that success in skills competitions will help her to secure a place at the university of her choice.






Cian Coakley, Creative Media Makeup – Gold

A Gold medal was awarded to Cian Coakley for his flair in creative media makeup after he produced a vivid full body paint design on the theme of weather from around the world. Cian, 19 achieved his Level 2 and 3 media makeup qualifications at the college, having been inspired by a school visit to WorldSkills UK when he was in Year 9.
He was confident in his creative skills in special effects, but this was only the second time he has competed on body paint and it is still a relatively new discipline for him. He said that his college course was perfect, and he chose it based on the college’s good reputation in this skill area. Because of his success in competitions, Cian’s name was known to his university before he started there.

Cian is now studying at University College Birmingham for a degree in specialist hair and media makeup and is interested in pursuing a career in fashion editorial or film makeup. On receiving his Gold medal, Cian said, “I have always set myself high standards and the piece I created for WorldSkills was the first I have been completely happy with. The competition process was quite stressful, but it was all worth it in the end.” He said that his tutors Lucy Johnson and Leanne Newitt had been a ‘massive help’, enabling him to get plenty of practice and providing helpful feedback.


Natalie Page, Creative Media Makeup – Highley Commended

Natalie Page, Creative Media Makeup – Highley CommendedNatalie from Nuneaton joined the college as an adult student and completed a Level 3 Media Makeup qualification in June 2019. Natalie originally worked in the entertainment business but after having her two daughters, decided to change direction. As well as doing children’s yoga classes, Natalie took up face painting, often doing make up for the company she used to work for. She said, “I quickly found that I was passionate about this and wanted to do it for a living. I originally applied for the Level 2 course at the college but after having a chat with the tutor Leanne she advised that the Level 3 would be better due to my prior experience. The Level 3 course had everything I wanted including prosthetics and airbrushing. When I was at college, I couldn’t wait to get out of bed every morning. The tutors were amazing, and we had the chance to take part in lots of competitions – something I’ve thrown myself into in order to get as much knowledge as I can.”





Mya Miller, Cookery – Gold

In the Inclusive Skills competition, for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, the Gold medal for catering went to Mya Miller, 17 from Bedworth who successfully prepared the most impressive picnic for two. Mya took part in the college’s Salon Culinaire challenge last year achieving a Bronze certificate and has now progressed on to a Level 1 programme in hospitality and catering. Despite working in unfamiliar surroundings at a large venue, her tutor Jason Thacker said that her commitment and enthusiasm carried her through.

Mya started at the college on an Entry Level 3 programme with lower-level skills in maths and English. The programme helped her to develop her confidence and she has now progressed on to a Level 1 programme in hospitality and catering this year.


Shona Emslie, Health and Social Care – Gold

Gold medal-winning Shona Emslie shone in the health and social care competition during which she was judged as part of a role play in an independent living setting assessing the needs of a resident with autism. Shona, 17, from Bedworth, is on a Level 2 Health and Social Care course having successfully completed a Level 1 programme last year. Having performed well in the regional heats of her competition, Shona took part in a trial for WorldSkills taking part in a baby care role-play exercise and putting together a meal plan, playlist and routine schedule for a childminder. Shona would like to move on to an apprenticeship in childcare when she has completed her current qualification.




Motor Vehicle demonstrations – Gold

Gold medals were also awarded as part of a demonstration of motor vehicle skills by Dominik Cichonski and Shaun Osbourne while Kurtis Richards won the Silver medal in the same category.


Media – Bronze

Callum Wood, Jamie Williams and Lyndon Brown were awarded Bronze medals for their skills in the media competition.