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OC learners compete in WorldSkills UK national finals

Four of our talented learners across a range of subject areas are preparing to compete in the WorldSkills UK national finals this month.

Rebecca Mills (Foundation Skills: Hairdressing), Zeeshan Hassan (Foundation Skills: Health & Social Care), Kate Norton (Foundation Skills: Woodworking) and Joseph Brooks (Graphic Design) have put their skills to the test against learners from across the country, in the hopes of becoming National Medalists.

The finals took place at Colleges from Middlesbrough to Cardiff and everywhere in between, celebrating the technical and vocational skills of young people in the UK. 

Kate Norton (left) and Rebecca Mills (right)

Rebecca used her previous experience of competitions, including the AHT (Association of Hairdressers and Therapists) Competition in Blackpool, to help prepare for WorldSkills UK. Ahead of the final, she said: “It feels amazing to be a finalist. I’m nervous but really excited and feeling confident for the finals.

“The finals challenge is to create a festival-themed hairstyle. Angela (my tutor) and I have already started to prepare – she and the Additional Learning Support (ALS) team at College have been a great support.”

Finalist Kate was “surprised, pleased and overwhelmed” to be selected as a finalist. “I found out I had become a finalist when Darren (my tutor) left me an excited voicemail. My dad thought I had been boxing, as he called me champ!” She was “excited” to test her skills against the best in the country.

Joseph Brooks

Joseph said: “It feels unreal to be a WorldSkills finalist – it’s been an amazing experience that just keeps getting better and better as I progress!

“Both Oldham College and my employer, Rhino Group, have guided and mentored me through each stage of the WorldSkills journey. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to support me through the competition.”

Joseph’s status as a finalist follows Ben Catherall, who was the Silver Medalist for Graphic Design in 2021/22. Both Joseph and Ben have started their careers as apprentices with creative communications agency Rhino Group.

Lee Morris, Senior Creative at Rhino Group, says that WorldSkills is “a chance for learners to be brave, grow and put themselves out there to a wider world of creatives and professionals.”

He and the team at Rhino are incredibly proud of the success of their apprentices, saying that “it’s super-exciting to see them push themselves and be challenged. WorldSkills is a chance for learners to be brave, grow and put themselves out there to a wider world of creatives and professionals.”

We’re wishing all four learners the best of luck for the awards ceremony on Friday!

Keep up to date with our WorldSkills UK journey by following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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