Automotive stars selected for WorldSkills

Two of UK’s top apprentices are gearing up to take part in WorldSkills Lyon 2024, billed as the ‘skills Olympics’.

David McKeown, a former apprentice who trained at Riverpark Training and who works for James McKeown Accident Repair in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, will represent the UK in Autobody Repair, while Miguel Harvey, who works for Steer in Stratford Upon Avon will represent the UK in Car Painting.

They will compete alongside the brightest talents from more than 1,500 other apprentices from 65 countries in 62 different skills disciplines.

McKeown said: “I’ve worked a long time for it, and it paid off. This is a big moment, a life-changing moment.  I am hoping for a medal in Lyon, and the right one would be gold. I am going to wear my Team UK shirt with pride.”

Harvey added: “It’s sinking in how big WorldSkills is – the platform is amazing. I must thank my employer, Steel, and WorldSkills UK Training Manager Rich for getting me to this point.”

Ben Blackledge, chief executive, WorldSkills UK said: “The UK’s participation in the ‘skills Olympics’ will provide vital insights to ensure we can develop our apprenticeship and training programmes, to make them truly world-class. I couldn’t be prouder of the exceptional young people in Team UK; they are fantastic role models. Together with Pearson, we will use their participation at WorldSkills to boost the prestige of technical and vocational education, inspiring many more young people to take up technical and vocational training across the UK to help drive investment, jobs and economic growth.”