A band of students from Coleg y Cymoedd have won a gold medal in the popular music final of a national skills competition.
Backed by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund, Skills Competition Wales is a series of events held in colleges across the country, designed to celebrate vocational skills and create highly skilled, award winning employees for the Welsh workforce.
Georgina Davey, 19, Caitlin Lavanga, 20, Christian Punter, 18, and Rhys Davies, 20, who make up the band ‘Working On It’, competed against nine other bands in the competition, performing two cover songs to a panel of judges.
Christian, the band’s guitarist, said he couldn’t believe it when they announced ‘Working On It’ as the winners.
“We were all really surprised to have won the competition, we’ve only been performing together for a couple of weeks after our tutors encouraged us to get together and enter. Despite that, we’d been rehearsing our songs, ‘Bad Romance’ by Lady Gaga and ‘Begging’ by Madcon, until we could perform them in our sleep!
“I’m so pleased we all entered, I think this could be the start of a successful new group. Caitlin and I have performed together busking around Cardiff and playing in local pubs but it’ll be great to branch out and start performing as ‘Working on it’ in the next stages of the competition, and beyond.”
More than 35 competitions are taking place this year, across a wide range of different vocations from plumbing and beauty therapy to aeronautical engineering and accountancy.
The successful Welsh competitors may go on to challenge youngsters from across the UK at the WorldSkills UK national finals, held at The Skills Show in Birmingham’s NEC this November. Competitors who excel at The Skills Show may then be shortlisted to compete against the world’s most talented young people at the international WorldSkills competition in Kazan, Russia in 2019.
Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James said: “At the Skills Show last year, the Welsh team topped the leader board of UK regions winning a total of 45 medals, which demonstrates that we’re producing some of the most highly skilled young people across the nation.
“In a year when Wales is celebrating legends of the past, competitions like these showcase the talent across the country and provide a platform for emerging Welsh legends of the future.
“Along with the group’s hard work and determination the support from their tutors is an important factor in their success, and I would like to extend a special thank you to all the local businesses, schools and colleges across Wales who support these talented individuals.
“I would like to congratulate the group on their fantastic achievement and wish them the best of luck in the next stage of the competition and their future career.”