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Apprentices win big at the Skills Show 2013

The Skills Show 2013 was held last week at the NEC in Birmingham and attracted numerous young apprentices from across a range of sectors, all hoping to prove their skills.

The nationwide event – which was held from 14 to 16 November – highlights the benefits of further education, skills and apprenticeships and this year attracted around 75,000 pupils from schools across the country.

Apprentice plumber Martyn Lee from Saffron Walden was just one of the young hopefuls who had won his way through to the finals of WorldSkills UK, which was held at the Skills Show. Described as the “Olympics of the skills world,” WorldSkills sees apprentices from across the construction, decorating, electrical, plumbing and other sectors compete to be named one of the country's top apprentices. Martyn took place in the final of Skill Plumb, which was held across the entire three days of the show, and saw him compete in front of students, employers and members of the public.

Other competing apprentices included Plymouth-based Struan Robertson, 21, from South Brent, who won Gold in the Sheet Metal Work (Higher) category and Ryan Moore, 22, from Plympton, who won Bronze in the Construction Metal Works (Advanced) category.

Leeds-based apprentice Elliott Blakeley's installation of pipework scooped him a gold medal at the Skills Show. He told 4-Traders: “It's been such a brilliant experience taking part in this competition that winning the gold medal feels like an extra bonus. It was really tough and tested all of our skills, but seeing the high quality of the other competitors' work inspired us all to do our best.”

More than 700 young apprentices took part in 70 competitions over the course of the show, which celebrates the crucial importance of developing skills among young people in order to stimulate economic growth.