Students named best in UK at national skills competition

22nd November 2018

New College Lanarkshire has ranked second in the UK for skills provision after 12 students brought home awards from national skills competition WorldSkills UK.

The College finished second on the leader board of the WorldSkills UK Live Final, held at Birmingham NEC from 15-17 November, after students competed against the best in the UK in their chosen skills.

Nine medals and three special awards were presented to NCL students at a glittering awards ceremony, including:


  • Callum Frost – IT Software Solutions for Business (21 from Hamilton)
  • Thomas Scott – IT Software Solutions for Business (20 from Hamilton)
  • Dawid Soczka – IT Support Technician (27 from Hamilton)
  • Fraser Cameron – Network Systems Administration (24 from Motherwell)


  • Angus McPherson – Mechanical Engineering: CAD (21 from Sweden)
  • Gemma Thomas – Fashion and Photographic Make-up (19 from Newarthill)
  • Courtney Craig – Media Make-up: Body (21 from Glasgow)


  • Ben Harrison – Mechanical Engineering: CAD (21 from Hebrides)
  • Jakub Czaja – Web Design (29 from Motherwell)

A highly commended award was presented to Kane Hayes (22 from Coatbridge) in Fashion and Photographic Make-up, while Sophie Orr (23 from Motherwell) and Darren Houston (21 from Bellshill) won first and third place in the pilot Building Information Modelling (BIM) for Architectural Design competition.

Twenty-three NCL students competed at the three-day competition in front of 70,000 spectators, going head to head with 500 of the best students and apprentices from across the UK in 10 skills: BIM for Architectural Design, Confectionery, Electrical Installation, Fashion and Photographic Make-up, IT Software Solutions for Business, IT Support Technician, Mechanical Engineering: CAD, Media Make-up: Body, Network Systems Administrator and Web Design.

Top performing students will now be in with a chance of being selected for Team UK in forthcoming international finals in 2020 and 2021.

Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive of WorldSkills UK, said:

Congratulations to all the students and staff of New College Lanarkshire who took part in the competitions – it is a fantastic achievement.

The competition was fierce and the standards very high. All of the students’ hard work and dedication has been rewarded and we at WorldSkills UK salute you.

Our competitions equip apprentices and students with the lifelong, world-class skills that will drive up training standards to the highest level to help boost UK productivity and competitiveness.

College staff members were also in attendance as WorldSkills experts and judges, overseeing the competitions in CAD, IT and BIM, while Head of Faculty for Computing and Creative Industries, Matthew Smith, represented WorldSkills Scotland in presenting an award at the ceremony.

Head of Faculty of Engineering and Automotive, Barry Skea and lecturer Ryan Sheridan hosted a spotlight stall for Mechanical Engineering: CAD alongside NCL staff, students and industry partners, including Team UK champion Ross Megahy who showcased the skill to prospective students and employers. They were also joined by former champion Betsy Crosbie, who hosted members from Colleges Scotland in a walk-through of the competition.

Martin McGuire, Principal and CEO at New College Lanarkshire, said:

Each year we take part in WorldSkills competitions to give our students the chance to show what they have learned at college on a national level, benchmarking them against the best in the UK and each year they continue to excel.

For 12 students to have brought home awards is a fantastic success and I’d like to congratulate all the students who took part for their dedication and commitment.

I’d also like to thank the numerous staff members who show tremendous commitment and dedication to ensure their students are at the top of their game and of national and international standard. It shows that skills really are at the forefront of New College Lanarkshire’s ethos and we will strive to ensure each and every student who passes through our doors leaves skillset for life.

We are proud that this is the sixth year New College Lanarkshire has been named as a top three institution at the competitions, having won it outright on three occasions.