Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Olympic team misses medalsOn 1 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today The UK team managed only 11th place out of 34 countries in this year’s WorldSkills Competition in Seoul, South Korea. The biennial contest is open to young people aged up to 22 who pit theirvocational skills from autobody repair to welding against the cream ofinternational competitors in an Olympic-style bid for medals. The UK’s ranking was down one place from the previous WSC. Although therewere no medals for the UK, team members gained a record number of diplomas ofexcellence, awarded to those deemed to have reached world-class standard. Koreaswept the board with 35 medals. Linda Ammon, chief executive of UK Skills, the body responsible for the UK’sentry, said, “It’s disappointing not to win medals, but we had quite a fewfourth and fifth places and we’re pleased with all our team members. “Our competitors had been training hard for six months, but they allhave jobs, while competitors from countries like Korea train for thecompetition full time for two years. It’s not a level playing field.” BAE Systems is a regular supporter of skills competitions. Gareth Willis, anapprentice in its Avionics Division, represented the UK in industrialelectronics, coming just four points short of a diploma. HR manager Keith Knight said, “We will use the fact that we’ve trainedsomebody to this high standard in our recruitment,” he said. “Gareth put a lot of work into his programme. Representing the UK ishis reward and an incentive to apprentices who follow. “The World Skills Competition is a by-product which drives upstandards.” Knight believes the UK approach strikes the right balance. “Perhaps wewould do better if it were a level playing field, but I think what we’re doingis adding value to the business,” he said. “Our young people are probably contributing to the business earlierthan other competitors who don’t have much experience of a real workenvironment.” Ammon said she learnt many lessons from the Seoul competition and will beconsidering whether UK contestants are given enough time between selection andcompeting. Related posts:No related photos.