A Bradford man is heading to Brazil for the chance of ‘superstardom’ on the global stage at the ‘Skills Olympics’.
Chris Hanson, aged 22, has survived a gruelling two-year selection process to get to the very pinnacle of his profession.
The elite 13-strong team will compete before 100,000 spectators and hundreds of members of the media from around the World.
Years of dedication, hothouse training and success in regional heats have taken the team from the chill of Birmingham (where the UK Finals were held) to the white-hot heat of the WorldSkills Final in Sao Paulo.
Chris, who supports Bradford Bulls rugby league team, is dedicating his bid for glory to his two year old son Nathan.
“Everything I do is for his future – If I get a medal it could be life changing, a better job with better pay.
“I am going for a medal position,” said Chris, “I have entered six competitions to date – and won all of them – I am very competitive.”
Semta, the not for profit organisation, engineering skills for the future which drives the competition in the UK, says WorldSkills epitomises how nations treat their skilled young.
Ann Watson, CEO of Semta said: “Forget the World Cup or the Olympics – this is THE most important competition to be held in Brazil.
“Chris is already a winner – and we wish him well.
“Britain should look and learn – the status of young engineering apprentices is far higher in other countries than it is here.
“If the Government is to achieve the challenging target of 3 million new apprentices during this Parliament – we will have to achieve a cultural shift in the country’s attitude to vocational training.
“Young engineers are lauded by other countries – given superstar status, feted by the media – and applauded by the public.
“The standing that engineering holds is often mirrored by the performance of a nation’s manufacturing base and economy – these young people need to be granted iconic status.
“Semta wants other young people to want to emulate TeamUK – and get energised by engineering.”
Winning gold at WorldSkills could change lives. Many emerging nations incentivise their competitors by rewarding Gold Medalists with life-long pensions, cash prizes – and even houses.
The competition – which has competitors from 80 nations – takes place from August 11-16.