Apprentice Tom from Cardiff and Vale College is on the road to Russia

13 Mar 2019

An apprentice from Cardiff and Vale College has emerged as one of the best trainee electricians in the country, being selected for Team UK to compete in the WorldSkills Finals in Russia later this year.

Known as the ‘Skills Olympics’, the WorldSkills Competition sees the world’s best apprentices and students battle it out to win Gold, Silver and Bronze in their chosen skill. The UK is currently tenth in the WorldSkills rankings following its medal success at the last WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

Electrical Apprentice Tom Lewis was invited to compete for a place in Team UK for WorldSkills Kazan 2019 after excelling in the WorldSkills UK National Competitions, and having taken part in EuroSkills last year. He has now been selected for Team UK and will travel to Kazan in Russia later in 2019.

Tom is employed by local firm Blues Electrical and trained by his tutor Geoff Shaw at Cardiff and Vale College.

Cardiff and Vale College Deputy Principal Sharon James said: “Congratulations and a massive well done to Tom for making it Team UK for WorldSkills Kazan – it will be an amazing opportunity that not many young people get to experience.

“This is such an impressive achievement. Tom has shone at every level of the WorldSkills and Skills Competition Wales contests, and his reward is to represent the UK in the international finals.

“This is not just testament to all of his hard work, however. I would also like to congratulate Tom’s tutor Geoff Shaw and his employer Blues Electrical for all of their support – it really has paid off.”

WorldSkills UK is responsible for selecting, developing and training the team for the WorldSkills Competition. A partnership between business, education and governments, WorldSkills UK runs skills competitions for thousands of young people every year in key economic skill areas, boosting the technical skills, mindset and employability skills of young people.

Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, CEO of WorldSkills UK, which trains and selects the team and uses their success to promote skills across the country, said: “Think Olympic Games – but much more important to the economic future of the United Kingdom.

“This is a life-changing opportunity for all those involved.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these extraordinary young people who will be on the plane to Russia. They have worked tirelessly for weeks, months and years to be the best – they are a shining example to the next generation – let’s celebrate their spirit, commitment and success.

“We are not only giving young people the opportunity to reach their full potential but we also believe that, working with them, we can transfer the insights gained from competing against other countries into the wider UK economy, driving up training standards for young people to world-class levels, giving a much-needed boost to productivity.”

Inspired by Tom, WorldSkills UK is looking for apprentices and students to take part in WorldSkills Shanghai 2021. Register at by 5 April.