28 November 2018 News
A Northern Regional College student, 18-year-old Samuel Gilmore from Aghadowey, recently won gold in the carpentry division at the UK National Finals of WorldSkills UK LIVE.
Samuel and his fellow competitors were given 18 hours to design and construct a children’s wooden climbing frame in front of 80,000 spectators in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC).
WorldSkills UK LIVE is the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event. It gives talented young apprentices an opportunity to showcase their chosen skill in front of a live audience.
Although he is not even half way through his apprenticeship and was competing against fourth year apprentices, Samuel won gold in the carpentry skills section, one of the four gold medal winners from Northern Ireland.
As a gold medal winner, he will be invited back to World Skills UK LIVE 2019 to compete for a place in Squad UK and a chance to compete in the International WorldSkills competition in Shanghai in 2021.
After leaving school in 2016, Samuel did a Level 2 Skills for Work course at Northern Regional College Coleraine campus. The following year, he was employed by employment with Mark Pollock Joinery in Kilrea and now spends four days with his employer and one day in the College workshop as he works towards achieving Level 3 award in site carpentry.
Samuel said: “I’ve always enjoyed carpentry. My dad is a kitchen fitter and I have been helping him out on weekends and holidays since I was very young so bringing home this gold medal was a really special moment for me. The competition was really stiff, but I put my head down and got on with it and just tried to remember everything I learnt at College or out on site with Mark.”
Ian Forsythe, Carpentry lecturer at Northern Regional College said: “Samuel is a shining example of the skills and talent inherent to young people at the College. What he has achieved so far is remarkable and I’m confident that Samuel's commitment and dedication will ensure that he will go on to achieve even more success. He's a wonderful ambassador for the College and a great role model for other apprentices.”
Samuel's employer, Mark Pollock commented: “Anyone who knows Samuel and who has ever worked with him will know just how talented and hard-working he is. It's brilliant to see him doing so well and getting national recognition for his work.”
Earlier this year, Samuel was also named the Best Overall Skillbuild NI Young Apprentice of the Year.
Three other Northern Regional College students qualified for the WorldSkills UK LIVE finals: Mechatronics students, Haydn Roebuck and Joshua Pyper, who are both are completing a Foundation Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Thomas Hamill from Carrickfergus, who was competing in Graphic Design and is currently undertaking a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Interactive Media at Newtownabbey.
Ian Forsythe, Carpentry lecturer at Northern Regional College