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Skills Competitions

At Northern Regional College we encourage all our students to participate in skills competitions. Taking part in competitions is a very important part of a student’s career development and learning experience and is an excellent way to enhance their skills and knowledge while providing them with an opportunity to test their skills against their peers from other Colleges.

Each year our students from various vocational subject areas such as engineering CAD, CNC milling, mechatronics, welding, IT, health and social care, carpentry and joinery, brickwork, electrical installation and plumbing pipework are involved in competitions from, campus, inter-campus to regional, national and international level. The ultimate goal is to compete in the prestigious WorldSkills competition which occurs every two years and is the biggest vocational education and skills excellence in the world.

WorldSkills UK Finals - November 2021

This year eleven students will be representing the College at the prestigious WorldSkills UK finals in November - the Olympics of vocational skills.  They will be among the 400 plush finalists from across 64 disciplines competing to be crowned national skills champion and for the opportunity to compete in next year's World Finals in Shanghai.

To reach the UK finals, competitors had to make it through the fiercely competitive regional qualifying rounds by completing a series of tasks in their specific skill area. When scores from all the competitors across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were collated, the top eight were awarded a coveted final spot.

All eight finalists in the Industrial Robotics category studied engineering at the College’s  Ballymena campus. They are Cameron Middleton, Adam Kirkpatrick, Jude Moore, Aaron Stevenson, Brennan Wilson, Louie Heath, Thomas Simpson and Julia Millar are from Northern Regional College. The other College finalists are Savannah Hodgins (3D Digital Games Art); Lydia Fletcher (IT Software Solutions for Business) and Jonathon Wilsdon (Web Design).

The national finals are traditionally held at the NEC, Birmingham but, because of Covid restrictions, this year, the national finals will take place in locations across the UK: IT Software Solutions for Business finals will be in Lanarkshire; Web Design in Weston Super Mare, Somerset and 3D Digital Games Art in Media City in Salford, Manchester. With all eight Industrial Robotics finalists from Northern Regional College, the College’s Farm Lodge campus has been selected as the venue for the Industrial Robotics final.

Northern Regional College has a proven track record at Worldskills UK finals. In recent years former Foundation Degree Engineering student Rory McCloskey and Carpentry apprentice Samuel Gilmore won gold medals in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling and Carpentry respectively.