Medal win at national skills competition

Two New College Durham students are celebrating being the best in the country after showcasing their talent at the prestigious World Skills UK final 2017 at Birmingham NEC.

The UK’s largest skills and careers event saw graphic design student Ryan Scurfield and vocational access student Dean Scott competing with the best students and apprentices in the UK. After two days of intense competition, the judges rewarded the students from New College Durham with gold and silver medals, respectively. 

During the competition, Ryan took part in a two day design challenge.  He was briefed to design marketing materials for an employability boot camp. 17-year-old Ryan, who lives in South Hetton, is a second year Level 3 Graphic Design student at New College Durham. 

He said:

“The competition was fierce and the standards were very high.  It was a brilliant experience and it will improve my future employment opportunities.”

Thanks to his gold medal win, Ryan has been given VIP membership to the Ideas Foundation, which allows him access to work experience in some of the best design agencies in the UK.

Dean, also 17, who lives in Lanchester and has learning difficulties, was the first student from the North East to compete in the Restaurant Services heat in the Inclusive Skills section of the competition.  He was tasked to lay a table for two people, with a Christmas theme.

He said:

“I really enjoyed the competition and I am very proud to have won a medal.”

Both students competed in live heats throughout the year and, after becoming best in the region, they were selected to compete in the national final. They were trained and mentored in college by their lecturers; Danielle Gabrielle, Graphic Design lecturer and Colin Galley, Vocational Access lecturer.

Lindsay Deswert, Skills Champion at New College Durham, said:

“This is a fantastic achievement. Our staff and students have worked hard to prepare for this competition. The medal wins reflect the quality of teaching at New College Durham and the exceptional talent of our students.”

In addition, 18-year-old Jo Hare, who lives in Murton and is studying Engineering at New College Durham, impressed the judges with his skills, stamina and commitment to working under pressure in his construction metalwork final.  As a result, he has been chosen to represent the UK in the World Skills official Squad UK and will compete against the world’s best skilled young people in Kazan, Russia in 2019. The World Skills competition in Kazan will bring together participants from more than 70 countries who will compete in over 50 skills.

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