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The Minister for Schools and Skills, Keith Brown, will host a send-off reception today for the young Scots who have been selected for the UK team for WorldSkills 2009 - the biggest skills competition in the world, to be held in Calgary next month.
The Minister will be joined by three out of the four Scottish competitors, their families, training providers, employers and other special guests as they prepare to leave for WorldSkills 2009. It will run between September 1 and 7 and see these young people compete alongside 1000 other competitors from 51 countries, watched by more than 200,000 spectators.
Keith Brown said:
"Representing Scotland and the UK at such a prestigious event is a fantastic achievement for these young Scots. Through hard work, dedication and a commitment to their training, they have reached the top of their respective trades and are a credit to themselves, their employers and trainers.
"I know that they will each try their hardest, among what will be some very tough competition in Calgary, to bring a medal home and want to wish them and their supporters the very best of luck.
"All young Scots need help and encouragement to reach their full potential, whether they are undertaking academic qualifications, vocational training or a combination of both.
"I hope that Mark, Katie, Martin and Richard will inspire more of their peers to strive for the top in their chosen fields so that they reach their full potential in the world of work and world of learning and are able to play their part in this country's economic recovery when the time comes."
The four young Scots who will help make up the 25-strong UK team, are:
- Mark Nevin - Painting and Decorating - Nevin of Edinburgh Decorators
- Katherine Watson - Restaurant Service - Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire
- Martin Eusebi - Mechanical Engineering CADD - MB Aerospace, Motherwell
- Richard Sagar - Electrical Installation - Eden Electrics Ltd, Langholm, Dumfriesshire
WorldSkills competitions are organised by in the UK by UK Skills, a not-for-profilt company sponsored by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
WorldSkills is the largest skills competition in the world and takes place every two years in a host member nation. Calgary 2009, is the 40th competition, with more than 1000 competitors aged 16 to 23, expected to take part from more than 51 countries. It is an opportunity for the young people to test themselves against tough international standards and improve and showcase their skills in a range of fields. Further information is available on the WorldSkills website.
Mark Nevin (22) left West Calder High School when he was 16. He discovered he had a passion and a talent for painting and decorating. Following in his father's footsteps, Mark now plays a central role in the family business, Nevin of Edinburgh Decorators. As well as completing his painting and decorating apprenticeship, Mark also successfully completed his SVQ Level 3 at Telford College in Edinburgh.
Katie Watson (21) attended Strathaven Academy until she was 17, and recently completed a BA in Hotel and Hospitality Management at Strathclyde University. Her passion for people, good food and hospitality has helped to develop her skills which she is developing further at Gleneagles Hotel as one of their up-and-coming chef de rangs.
Martin Eusebi (21) works as an apprentice draftsman with Motherwell firm MB Aerospace to help develop his career. Martin has been honing his skills as a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) technician with MB Aerospace's Roberts Division which specialises in the design and manufacture of a wide range of subsea, precision machining equipment for the oil & gas industry.
Richard Sagar (22), from Langholm in Dumfriesshire is employed with Eden Electrics in the town after completing his apprenticeship with Dumfries and Galloway College. Richard has always had an interest in physics and maths since school and his employment allows him to get involved in different types of electrical energy work.
Young people aged 15 to 23, who are in education or training, and interested in qualifying for the next WorldSkills competition, to be held in London in 2011, can register on the Wordskills UK website.