Oldham College stars ready for WorldSkills UK finals

OLDHAM College has four super-talented learners competing for prestigious national titles at this month’s WorldSkills UK finals. 

Rabbani Khan, Lily Hardiker, Ben Catherall, and Daniel Walker have progressed the farthest from the college’s biggest-ever squad of 71 competitors at this year’s nationwide competition.

WorldSkills UK offers learners a unique opportunity to compete using skills they’ve developed at Oldham College, and in the workplace, in real-life scenarios.

As well as the chance to become national champions, the learners could next join the UK WorldSkills Squad to compete at international level, if they achieve a benchmark score.

Alun Francis, Oldham College Principal and Chief Executive, said: “We’re excited to be part of the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence – and our learners, staff, local employers and the wider economy are already reaping the benefits.”

“We’re proud of every single learner who competed and each has gained invaluable experience that will supercharge their future careers.

“This is part of our commitment to delivering world-class skills provision for local benefit. It enables our staff to equip the next generation of talent to the very best standards – and will improve prospects for learners across every course and industry sector.”

Rabbani Khan, 20, is “very proud” to have reached the Web Design final after getting the highest marks in the North West contest.

“It’s very exciting to be involved in WorldSkills UK”, he said. “It has been an incredible opportunity to gain more experience and opens me up to more opportunities in the job world.”

Rabbani is now studying BSc Computer Science at Manchester Metropolitan University and freelancing in web design and programming for clients.

Daniel Walker was “shocked” to have made the Foundation Skills, Woodworking finals in his first-ever competition.

“This has taught me new skills which I’d never used before, and helped me improve on skills I already have,” he said. “If I win, I’ll be so happy – but totally gobsmacked!”

Ben Catherall, 20, is now employed full-time with Rhino Group, where he recently completed his Junior Content Producer Apprenticeship. He is competing in the Graphic Design finals.

“Preparing for this has been a hands-on process with Oldham College and Rhino Group being so helpful”, he said.

“The opportunity to work with different companies and brands at each stage was so interesting and a lot of fun. I’m not sure what the brief for the final is yet, but I’m excited to get started.”

Another Graphic Design finalist is Lily Hardiker, a second year Oldham College student who will compete at MediaCityUK in Salford.

“The whole WorldSkills UK experience has been great, but I’ve never done anything like this before,” she said.

“I’ve felt nervous at each stage, but ended up really enjoying it. I’ve learned a lot from doing this, including marketing skills.

“WorldSkills also helped me realise what I want to do after Oldham College – the type of design work I’ve done in the competitions has been really creative, and it’s what I’d like to do in a job or at university.”

Follow @OldhamCollege on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and @oldhamcollegeoc on Instagram for updates on how the learners get on in the WorldSkills UK finals.

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