Lancashire medal winner urges others to take chance to be crowned UK’s best at WorldSkills

A national champion from the Ribble Valley is urging young people to sign up to UK-wide skills competitions that could see them crowned best in the UK, and even represent their country on the international stage.
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Registration for the WorldSkills UK 2023 competitions has opened and runs until Friday 24 March. Students and apprentices can compete in over 50 different skill disciplines where they will pit their skills against their peers from across the UK.

Abi Stansfield from Chaigley in the Ribble Valley was a member of the UK team that took part in the 2022 competition. She competed in the international CNC Milling final in Germany in October.

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Abi was helping out on the BAE stand at the WorldSkills UK competitions at the NEC in 2017. She said she was so inspired by the competition and standards on show that she came back and had a go, winning the bronze medal in the CNC Milling competition in 2019.

Abigail StansfieldAbigail Stansfield
Abigail Stansfield

The 23-year-old says that getting involved in the competitions have given her confidence and her career a boost. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology involves shaping metal and other solid materials to create products used in almost every aspect of modern life, from cars and smart phones to kitchen appliances and prosthetic limbs.

Abi said: “Taking part in the WorldSkills UK competition was one of the best things I have ever done. I had no idea that I would end up travelling the world competing or what taking part would really involve. I couldn’t believe it when Steph McGovern read my name out and I realised I was a medal winner.

“I would definitely recommend signing up and having a go at competing. You get so much experience, meet so many brilliant people and the support I had throughout the competition is incredible.”

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As well getting the chance to boost their skills, competitors have the possibility of competing at the “international skills olympics” in France in 2024.

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Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said: “Demonstrating high-quality skills to employers is the key to unlocking your career potential, and what better way to showcase your talent than by competing against the best of the best?”