Edinburgh College painting and decorating apprentice Jordan Charters will be going for gold as part of Team UK at the WorldSkills championship in Abu Dhabi later this year.
After a two-year qualification battle against the UK’s most-skilled young people, Jordan secured a spot on Team UK to compete in the ‘Olympics of Skills’ in October.
Jordan, who works for his dad’s painting and decorating firm and has a string of skills awards under his belt, will join another 31 of the country’s best talent in the competition. Team UK will compete against 75 other countries in more than 50 different skills, from aircraft maintenance and mechanical engineering to restaurant service and cyber security.
Jordan, from West Linton, said: “I said I wouldn’t cry if I made Team UK but I couldn’t help it. All the hard work that I put in has paid off. It has made it worthwhile.”
College graduate and 2009 WorldSkills Painting and Decorating gold medallist Mark Nevin played the Paulie to Jordan’s Rocky, mentoring him through the preparation alongside Peter Walters, a WorldSkills training manager. Mark studied at the college in 2003 and competed at WorldSkills Calgary in 2009 in the Painting and Decorating category. He secured the gold medal in his category and the highest individual score for the UK team.
For the last two years, Jordan, who is also an international-level long jumper, has had to fit training around work and college commitments.
Jordan and his teammates will now go through an Olympic-style training regime in preparation for an intense week of competition as Team UK attempts to top their seventh-place finish at the 2015 WorldSkills in Sao Paulo.
WorldSkills runs from 14-19 October 2017 in a specially created facility in Abu Dhabi. Check the WorldSkills website for more on the competition.