Loughgiel’s Conor is off to UK WorldSkills finals

A Loughgiel student is one of seven representatives from Northern Regional College to have qualified for the national finals of this year’s WorldSkills UK competition.

Conor Dallas will take part in the Joinery category.

The College will be represented in four skills areas: Industrial Robotics, CNC Milling, IT Support Technician and Joinery. They will compete for gold, silver and bronze at the finals, which will take place in venues across the UK, week commencing November 14.

The finalists are Ryan Crooks, Luke Cassidy and Charlie Carson and Jason Scott (Industrial Robotics); David McMullan (CNC Milling); Jack Carlisle (IT Support Technician); and Conor Dallas (Joinery). WorldSkills is a competition-based development programme, designed by industry experts, to enhance the practical skills and knowledge taught on training courses. The skills competitions, which are designed to boost skills and confidence, assess employability attributes against set criteria in a competitive environment. 

Loughgiel's Conor Dallas

It is widely recognised that the programme has a positive impact on competitors, with 90% of previous entrants saying their career progression improved after competing. Competitors who impress judges during the finals could be selected to represent the UK at the international WorldSkills finals, the ‘Skills Olympics’, in France in 2024. Last year, engineering students at the College’s Ballymena campus had a clean sweep in the Industrial Robotics category at the national finals.

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Brennan Wilson and Louie Health won gold, Cameron Middleton and Adam Kirkpatrick were silver medallists and Jude Moore and Aaron Stevenson were bronze medal winners. Savannah Hodgins, who studied Creative Media Production (Digital Game Development) at Newtownabbey was a silver medallist in the 3D Digital Games Art category. Cameron Middleton and Adam Kirkpatrick secured their spot on the UK national squad and will travel

to China for the international WorldSkills finals in Shanghai in October this year.

Congratulating students from across the UK who took part in the qualifying stages of the competition, WorldSkills UK Deputy CEO Ben Blackledge said: “I want to offer my congratulations to everyone who registered for our competitions this year, especially those who are now going on to compete in November’s finals.

“We are really excited to be taking the show on the road again this year with finals hosted by colleges across the UK. We hope seeing the finals in person or catching up with our online content will inspire more young people to develop their skills and have a go at one of our competitions next year. Our competitions and competition-based development programmes equip apprentices and students with the lifelong, world-class skills that will help increase UK productivity and competitiveness.”