The Vella Group apprentice Ryan Lowrey has won gold at the prestigious WorldSkills UK National Finals.
WorldSkills is a global movement of over 80 countries, supporting young people across the world to develop excellence in their sector via skills competitions, with those securing places in national teams - and representing the best in their country and sector. WorldSkills UK deputy chief executive Ben Blackledge said: "These young people are a real inspiration. They are an example of us all and should be celebrated. To have excelled after such a difficult year shows that their dedication and skills are truly excellent."
Over 400 students and apprentices across 64 disciplines battled it out in the WorldSkills UK Competition finals held across the UK to be recognised as the very best in their field. The winners were announced by TV journalists Steph McGovern during a special live programme from Channel 4's Packed Lunch studios on Friday afternoon.
Following a tough week of competition, Ryan secured top spot in the Automotive Refinishing category in the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Skills Competition.
Allan Wareing, Technical Trainer at The Vella Group, said, "We'd like to say a massive well done to Ryan for achieving a well-deserved Gold medal at this year's Automotive Refinishing Skills Competition. Ryan is a self-motivated multi-skill apprentice who always strive to deliver his best in everything he approaches. He has not only demonstrated great skills in vehicle refinishing, he is also demonstrating great skills in other aspects of vehicle repair and is a example of the great skillset that can come out of this type of multi-skilled apprenticeship. He is a great asset to The Vella Group, and a fantastic example for the future generation of repair technicians."
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 dedication and commitment to succeed from day one of his apprenticeship. The Vella Group has delivered excellent on the job mentorship and this award highlights the 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."