Callum is world class in Kazan

Callum in Kazan

Callum is world class in Kazan

Team UK - the UK’s top young students and apprentices (and former apprentices including FVC’s Callum Bonner) – flew home from Russia covered in gold and glory recently.

The 37 women and men, the best in their nations, won a total of 19 medals - two gold, one silver and one bronze medal and 15 medallions of excellence (achieving world class standard) at the ‘Skills Olympics’ from August 22-27.

The impressive results represent an amazing success for WorldSkills UK, which selects and trains the team and works to mainstream excellence in education and industry.

They were testament to the remarkable breadth and depth of skills that the UK offers the World.

Callum (21) from Tullibody, a painter and decorator with Clackmannanshire Council, who completed his Modern Apprenticeship through FVC, was one of the 15 Team UK competitors who won the coveted Medallions of Excellence which means they are of ‘World class standard’.

Graeme Williamson, a Lecturer in the Painting and Decorating Department, said: “The Painting and Decorating Department and the whole college are extremely proud of Callum and his achievements. He has worked so hard over the last two years to get to Russia. We had plenty of late nights in the workshop doing extra practice, and he has been all over the world during his training. He is an inspiration to all that follow him.”

The event, the 45th WorldSkills Finals, which takes place every two years, is considered to be the ultimate litmus test to compare countries’ readiness to compete economically.

More than a quarter of a million people gathered in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan for the spectacular closing ceremony which was addressed by President Vladimir Putin. The WorldSkills opening and closing ceremonies were televised in the UK for the very first time.

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, CEO of WorldSkills UK said: “This is a fantastic result for the team I couldn’t be prouder. This was the ultimate test and they stepped up to the mark.”

Clackmannanshire Council Painter and Decorator Callum (21) from Tullibody – who has just completed his four year Modern Apprenticeship at FVC’s Falkirk Campus – has racked up a glowing list of achievements.

These include:

  • Winning the Vocational Category (Scottish Region) British Education Awards 2019
  • Winning the APSE Scotland Building and Housing Apprentice Awards – 4th Year Trade MA of the Year Award 2019
  • Winning the Scottish Association of Painting Craft Teachers (SAPCT) Advanced Craft Category 2018
  • Winning a Special Clackmannanshire Council award 2018
  • Graduating with an Advanced Certificate in Painting and Decorating 2018
  • Winning the Outstanding Achievement Award at the FVC graduation 2018 at Stirling Castle
  • Making Team UK for the Euroskills held in Budapest September 2018

Callum said: “My journey has been phenomenal and I have enjoyed every bit of it.

“It is a great feeling going through the four years of a MA and now having a trade behind me for my whole life, is a great feeling. I am mega proud of my achievements. I have won every award ceremony I have been to and it has been a great couple of years.

“The facilities and lecturing staff at Forth Valley College are great and led me onto do things that I didn’t know were possible, such as representing my country In the Euroskills competition in Budapest, Hungry and leading me onto win awards ranging from regional to national level.

“Forth Valley College has led me to get a tradesman job within the council and the best bit for me was being on that big stage in Budapest representing the UK. I would recommend the MA programme at FVC because it can push you to reach your maximum potential and if you are wanting to put the graft in, you will reap the benefits. My Forth Valley College Modern Apprenticeship has been an absolutely brilliant experience!”

More than 60 countries sent elite teams to the Tatarstan Capital 800 km east of Moscow - to do battle and go for bronze, silver and gold in 56 different skills disciplines.


The event, dubbed the ‘Skills Olympics’, which takes place every two years, changes the lives and careers of those that compete.


For more information, photos and films visit


Callum (2nd left)
Callum in Kazan Classroom
Body of work
Great effort
Well done


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