Weston College students triumph at national Skills event

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By YouPR | Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 11:21

Two Weston College students walked away with prestigious awards after competing in the national finals of the WorldSkills competition at the weekend.

Josh Star, a Computing student now studying in Wales, and Max Bennett, a Level Three Supervisory and Leadership Apprentice, travelled to the NEC in Birmingham to compete in the largest skills competition in the world, involving thousands of students from almost 50 disciplines.

Josh and Max both came away with Silver awards from the three-day event which saw hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to watch the students at work.

Josh was required to undertake a number of computer-based projects, including design and construction of live websites for 'clients', while Max - who works at the Marco Pierre White Restaurant at the DoubleTree by Hilton Cadbury House Hotel in Congresbury - showed off his front-of-house skills in a variety of ways.

Max, 18, said: "We had to flambe, carve salmon, cook steak Diane and make cocktails, among other things. I was up against two competitors from Michelin-starred restaurants and another five from specialist catering colleges, so I was amazed and delighted to take the silver medal. They almost had to call my name twice when the silver medallist was announced!"

Josh, also 18 and now studying a BSc in Computing at Aberystwyth, was an outstanding Weston College student when he was entered for the competition earlier this year. He said: "It was a very pressured environment but very memorable. I didn't think I'd done that well so I was very pleased with the result and I'm hoping to compete next year."

Josh's tutor at Weston College, Jason Hill, accompanied him to the event. He said: "The competition and the tasks the students were put through was brutal, and nothing could have prepared anyone for the sheer size and scale of the event. The skill and workmanship of the competitors was incredible."

Brian Howe, Weston College Work Based Learning (WBL) Development Coordinator, said: "Max competed against the best for three days at the NEC in Birmingham. He showed great determination and was an ambassador not only for us at Weston College but also Double Tree Hilton."

Dr Paul Phillips, Weston College Principal and Chief Executive, said: "Josh and Max have done incredibly well against fierce competition at a national level, proving that Weston College students are easily capable of taking on the best in the country and winning. Well done to them both."

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