A pair of Highbury College computing skills have been named the best in the country after a prestigious competition.

Abdel Samih and Lewis Newton both won gold in the national WorldSkills finals at the Skills Show at the Birmingham NEC this weekend.

They were among five students from Highbury College who made it into the top skills competition and went head to head with other learners from across the country between the 16th and 18th November.

Abdel who is studying towards a Foundation Degree in Computer Networking, won his medal in the WorldSkills IT Support Technician competition, while Lewis who is studying a Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT, won gold in the web design category.

Health and social care student Isobel Fearnhead-Clark, Andrew Matthews who is studying a foundation degree in computer networking and Amal Thomas who completed a Level 3 qualification in computer software at Highbury College this summer also made it into the finals.

Lewis, 17, from Stamshaw, said: “It feels amazing and surreal. It has given me so much confidence to push myself. I have never been in that kind of environment before. I was worried at first but I really enjoyed it.

“I would never have even heard about this competition if it wasn’t for my teachers at Highbury College. They gave me the confidence to give it a go.”

Abdel, 21, from Waterlooville, who has recently launched his own web hosting business PBG Network, added: “It feels amazing to win. Everyone was shocked and congratulating me, saying the hard work is finally paying off. My family said I had done them proud.

“On the first day of the competition I had a few issues connecting to the server so I thought I didn’t do very well. Then, as soon as I saw my name appear on the screen as a winner I was shocked – I thought they were joking.”

Now Abdel and Lewis are preparing to join the UK Squad and represent the UK in their fields.

Principal of Highbury College, Stella Mbubaegbu CBE added: “I’m very proud of Lewis and Abdel for winning the top prizes in these competitions – it truly is a remarkable achievement.

“The awards are testament to their dedication and the outstanding teaching and opportunities they have received at Highbury College.

“Lewis and Abdel, along with the College’s other competitors, have yet again helped highlight just how incredible our students are on the national stage.

“This careers and skills event celebrates and recognises our long-standing association with WorldSkills, and I would like to extend my congratulations to everyone who helped make it such a success.”

Abdel and Lewis were cheered on by more than 60 other students who travelled from Highbury College to watch the competition and explore the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event.

Students and other visitors also had the chance to meet employers and current students, watch demonstrations and try new skills for themselves including during a web design workshop run by the college.

 For more information about Highbury College's computing courses click here.

Article Details

  • Date 24/11/2017