Young painter and decorator Jordan Charters did the UK proud in the WorldSkills Finals in Abu Dhabi.
Jordan took part in the event - known as the ‘skills Olympics’ – after winning his place in Team UK following his solid performance in the Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year contest, in association with SkillBuild, in 2015.
The 22-year-old’s performance saw him win a Medallion of Excellence - awarded to those that achieve the world-class standard in their skill.
Jordan is employed by his father George Charters – based in West Linton, Scotland - and has carried out his apprenticeship at Edinburgh College.
Overall, Team UK picked up no less than 20 medals, one gold, three silver, three bronze and 13 medallions of excellence at a spectacular closing ceremony in front of 15,000 people and the world’s media at the Du Arena.
The performance saw Team UK finish 10th in the medals table. It was the smallest team to make the global top 10.
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.”
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 saying: “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.”
Having triumphed through regional heats, a national final, a Team UK selection process and months of intensive training, Jordan was one of 34 young apprentices (or former apprentices) – who completed 4 days of competition at the 44th WorldSkills Finals in October.
More than 1,200 young people, from over 50 nations, who are specialist in 51 different disciplines from hairdressing to aircraft maintenance, plumbing to 3D Games design, competed for gold, silver and bronze medals.
Team UK is supported by WorldSkills UK, which has pioneered techniques and methodology from elite sports training which have been honed to help produce the very best exponents of dozens of disciplines and trades.
The contest is also the route to WorldSkills, which takes place every two years.
Lindsay Hall, Crown Trade Brand Manager, said: “We are delighted to hear of Jordan’s results and also the great position Team UK secured overall.
“Jordan started on this journey to Dubai through our Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year competition.
“What Jordan has achieved is phenomenal and it illustrates the value of Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year, which is the only competition associated with a national body, the CITB and the only one which gives the painting and decorating industry a route to WorldSkills.
“It has been organised and sponsored by Crown Trade for 38 years and we feel very passionately about it after all this time and really proud of those taking part.”