Callum's on his way to Kazan

Callum selected for Kazan

Callum's on his way to Kazan

The UK’s best and brightest young skilled, apprentices and students – including former Forth Valley College MA Callum Bonner - have been selected to represent Team UK at the ‘Skills Olympics’ in Russia.

More than 30 young professionals from engineering, hospitality and professional services, construction and digital and IT - have cleared the highest hurdle in a two-year challenge to be the best in the World and will represent the UK in Kazan from August 22-27, 2019.

These skilled young people have already triumphed in regional and national competitions and had one more momentous obstacle to overcome at Team Selection events the length and breadth of the UK. The results were revealed at Loughborough University which has a strong association with training Team GB for the Olympics. 

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

Now he has claimed a place in the UK’s WorldSkills team for Kazan which was announced on Monday 11 March.

Callum said: “My journey has been phenomenal and I have enjoyed being in training and going to team selection to see if I could get picked to go and represent the UK as the only painter to go to Kazan in Russia for the world competition. Team selection was in Ireland, so I have had a fair bit of travelling through all these experiences.

“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!”

Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, CEO of WorldSkills UK, which selects and trains the team and uses their successes to promote skills across the country, said: “Think Olympic Games - this is a life-changing opportunity for all those involved. I couldn’t be more proud of these extraordinary young people who will be on the plane to Russia.  They have worked tirelessly for weeks, months and years to be the best – they are a shining example to the next generation – let’s celebrate their spirit, commitment, and success.”

More than 60 countries are sending 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, will be shown live on TV and streamed around the World (including the UK) – and change the lives and careers of those that compete.

At the last WorldSkills finals (2017) in Abu Dhabi, Team UK finished in 10th position and is hoping to replicate or better the result.

Callum Bonner in action
Callum Bonner Vocational winner
MA Callum receives Clacks award
Callum Bonner at FVC
Callum in Scottish group
EuroSkills2018_UK Parl Send-Off_LtoR Ross, Mark, Principal Little, Callum, Nicolle
Oliver, Csaba, Mark, John, Nixon, Callum and Training Managers Paul Doran and Mike Swan
SERC World Skills Day 3
SERC World Skills Day 2
SERC World Skills Selection 1


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