Blackpool apprentice wins gold in the ‘Skills Olympics’

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A Blackpool apprentice in the automotive sector has struck gold in a top national skills competition.


Ryan Lowrey, works for the Blackpool based Vella Group and who studies at Blackpool and Fylde College picked up the top award in the World Skills UK Competition finals held across the UK.

Ryan was one of six young Lancashire trainees who undertook months of intensive training and who were revealed by TV journalist, Steph McGovern, in a live podcast.

The event, known as the Skills Olympics, supports young people across the world via competition based training, assessment and benchmarking, with members’ national teams ultimately testing their ability to achieve world-class standards in the biennial Skills Olympics.

Ryan Lowery

Ryan Lowery

Colleen Hickson, Head of Apprenticeships at Blackpool and The Fylde College said: “This is a fantastic achievement for both Ryan and The Vella Group. Ryan has shown the dedication and commitment to succeed from day one of his apprenticeship.

“The Vella Group have delivered excellent on the job mentorship and this award highlights the great collaborative partnership between B&FC, employers and their apprentices.

“This partnership with industry experts is essential to provide the technical and professional education needed for young people.

“Well done to all the team who have supported Ryan through his apprenticeship.”

Richard Hutchins, Competitions Manager at the Institute of the Motor Industry, said: “It was utterly awe-inspiring to see the determination and commitment of the IMI Skills Competition entrants in World Skills UK finals.

“Despite lockdowns, reduced opportunities for hands-on learning and the general uncertainty of the pandemic, these young apprentices stepped up and demonstrated their focus.

“With these accolades they can now go on to forge successful careers across the automotive sector.”

The other Lancashire winners were:

Mitchell Proctor (Bricklaying) from Preston College;

Owen Nelson (Electronic Security Systems) at EFT Systems Ltd in Southport;

Jack Talbot (Furniture and Cabinet Making) from Burnley College;

Cameron Barker (Landscaping) who works for Steven Foxcroft Landscapers in Bury;

Sam Dean (Plastering) from Wigan and Leigh College.