Former Edinburgh College Painting and Decorating Apprentice Jordan Charters has won a Medallion of Excellence at the World Skills finals in Abu Dhabi.
Twenty-two year-old Jordan, who studied at Edinburgh College achieved the award after a gruelling four days competing against the world’s top competitors in his field.
Medallions of Excellence are given to a select group of competitors who just miss out on medals but still achieved scores that meet the highest international standards. Jordan received his honour with all the winners at a spectacular closing ceremony in front of 15,000 people and the world’s media at the ad Du Arena in Abu Dhabi.
As part of the competition Jordan, one of 34 young people representing Team UK at the largest international skills competition in the world, demonstrated his ability in a variety of skills including wallpapering and spray-painting. He was also tasked with painting a scale drawing of the Abu Dhabi skyline and with producing a design of a gold leaf star above a mosque.
Jordan has been mentored by Edinburgh College graduate Mark Nevin – who won the Painting and Decorating gold medal at WorldSkills 2009 – and WorldSkills Team UK training manager Peter Walters.
Emotions were high as Jordan completed his work on Wednesday and embraced his father and employer George Charters, and Peter and Mark.
After finishing his work Jordan said: “The relief is incomparable, I’m feeling a bit emotional as well which is all good. It’s quite special! I will probably never feel like this again.”
There was more Scottish success with North Lanarkshire College’s Betsy Crosbie also winning a Medallion of Excellence for her performance in Mechanical Engineering CAD
Overall, the competition was a success for Team UK as they picked up 20 medals including one gold, three silver, three bronze and 13 Medallions of Excellence, resulting in a 10th-place finish in the final medal table.
Edinburgh College Principal Annette Bruton said: “Jordan’s achievements are simply fantastic and he can be very proud of himself. Everyone associated with the college is thrilled for him, especially those who have worked with him on his journey to WorldSkills.
“What’s also been good to see is all the coverage of WorldSkills and the spotlight it casts on vocational skills. WorldSkills does a great job in making the areas that are a college’s stock-in trade desirable and aspirational for young people. Seeing these young people and their skills elevated and celebrated is a joy and I hope Jordan and his fellow competitors inspire more people to pick up a paintbrush, make-up brush or whatever their tool of choice is.”
Head of Business Development and Customer Support at SQA Alasdair MacRae said: “Jordan’s achievement at WorldSkills is fantastic and it’s brilliant to see his work recognised at an international level. Jordan clearly embraced his studies in Painting and Decorating whilst at Edinburgh College and we congratulate him and wish him well for the future. At SQA we recognise the important part that providers like Edinburgh College play in supporting committed learners like Jordan and we congratulate them too. The talent demonstrated at Worldskills highlights the importance of vocational qualifications. SQA vocational qualifications are designed to meet the needs of industry and to support individuals in demonstrating that they have the required skills to excel in their field. Jordan has clearly done this to the highest level ”
Dr Neil Bentley, CEO of WorldSkills UK, said: “These young people have done the nation proud.
“If we celebrate Team UK’s success and use it to inspire others to follow in their footsteps, the future of the UK is in safe hands. “
The minister of state for apprenticeships and skills, Anne Milton MP, who visited the competition to support WorldSkills UK and the team, called upon parents to take note of the results:”I have been blown away by Team UK. They have done fantastically well – this is the UK competing on the World stage for skills and achieving great things.
“There will be huge celebrations when they come home. To get to this level is brilliant.
“There is a message here for parents – university is not the only option – the opportunities are boundless if they overcome any bias that they might have. We must ensure that the young apprentices here become an inspiration to others.
“WorldSkills UK is doing a fantastic job supporting these young people – with thousands of hours of input. We need to put all that they are doing – the ethos of this competition, the spirit of these apprentices- into a bottle and sprinkle it across the UK.”
Well done Jordan. Everyone at Edinburgh College is proud of your achievement!