Computing students Jack Day and Lewis Newton have been selected to join Squad UK in the lead up to WorldSkills Shanghai in 2021.

WorldSkills Squad UK and Highbury computing students Lewis Newton and Jack Day

The web design wizards, who both completed a Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT (Software Development), were chosen after winning gold at the WorldSkills UK finals.

Along with students and apprentices from across the nation, the duo will spend the next 18 months training in the WorldSkills UK Talent Programme before facing a selection test to become part of Team UK at WorldSkills Shanghai 2021.

Lewis, who first took home gold in the WorldSkills UK finals in 2017, secured his spot after representing the UK at the EuroSkills Budapest 2018 finals.

He said: “Being selected to train for international skills competitions as a member of Squad UK has been one of my proudest achievements. Having represented the UK at EuroSkills in 2018, I was lucky enough to have experienced the fantastic work WorldSkills UK does to prepare young people for their dream professions. I am so excited to be a part of their Talent Programme again now and continue pushing myself alongside so many passionate and skilled people across the country.”

The 19-year-old is now in his second year of his BSc (Hons) Computing degree at the University of Portsmouth.

He added: “I am forever grateful to all the Highbury lecturers and WorldSkills UK staff for their ongoing support these past few years and look forward to the road ahead leading to WorldSkills Shanghai 2021.”

Jack made the team after winning gold at WorldSkills UK LIVE in November 2019.

The 18-year-old, who now works at marketing agency Digital Dinos, said: “It’s quite daunting but it’s not an opportunity to turn down because it’ll be fantastic for my career. It’s very exciting and I’m looking forward to it, it’ll be a great experience overall. WorldSkills competitions help you to develop your skills and meet others from the industry. It pushes you out of your comfort zone and it’s just a great thing to do.”

The pair will now have the opportunity to compete in the Web Technologies category in the 46th WorldSkills Competition, which is set to be held between 22-27 September 2021.

Highbury College Computing Tutor Will Marks said: “I couldn’t be prouder of Lewis and Jack. WorldSkills competitions are hard work but the experience is like no other. I am certain both will achieve great things during their time in the talent programme.”

Interim Principal for Highbury College Penny Wycherley added: “Our heartfelt congratulations to Lewis and Jack. It’s fantastic to see that the pair have been selected to join such a talented team. Their outstanding skills and talents in the cutting-edge area of technology are so important as role models for other young people and for the development of our economy as part of the wider world.  It’ll be an exciting experience for them both and we wish them every success in this prestigious competition.”

The full 137-strong UK Squad was announced on Wednesday 8th January 2020.

Chief Executive for WorldSkills UK Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE said: “It is fantastic to see such a strong squad of young people all of whom are aiming to represent the UK on the world stage in Shanghai.

“They will be flying the flag for the UK, demonstrating to the rest of the world that we are developing the high-quality skills needed to help us to trade internationally and attract inward investment across all of the UK to creating and maintain jobs. Now more than ever, we need to invest in excellence in training for the next generation if we are to remain competitive globally and help create a thriving economy.”

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Article Details

  • Date 09/01/2020