North East Connected

WorldSkills Championships showcase Teesside Talent

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 13.43.03Redcar and Cleveland College student Rob Johnson’s plastering talents have been recognised on the world stage. The 22 year-old from Eston represented the UK in the 2015 WorldSkills Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil, impressing judges with his range of abilities in plastering and dry wall systems.

Now in its 43rd year, the scheme allows talented students across the country to compete against each other, with the cream of the crop going forward to do battle against the world’s finest in the international heats. Students from 60 countries and regions in the Americas, Europe, Asia, South Pacific and Africa compete in a wide range of disciplines, from plastering and plumbing to engineering, IT, logistics and the creative arts.

It’s not the first time on the international stage for Rob, who took part in the WorldSkills Championships in 2013 after enrolling on a Level 3 Diploma in Plastering at Redcar and Cleveland College. Through the course he acquired a sound understanding of safe working practices, building methods and key construction technologies.

Rob, who works as an apprentice at his father’s plastering business, Classic Plaster Moulds, says: “Since staring at college I’ve learned how to fix dry lining and plasterboard to interiors, produce and fix plaster components and prepare in-situ moulds. I’ve also gained transferable skills in effective communication and project management.

“This has undoubtedly helped me in my day job and enabled me to compete in the WorldSkills Championships. It was a great experience that I wouldn’t have had if it hadn’t been for the college. My tutors put me forward for the competition so that I could pit my wits against the best in the world. Not many students get this amazing opportunity, it’s a real honour.”

Now Rob aims to play his part in growing the North Ormesby-based family business, which also employs his mother, brother and sister.

“I’m confident that I now have the skills and abilities to make a real difference to the company,” he says. “Longer term I’ll look to take over the business when my dad retires.”

Robert will join a group of 40 talented young people who will represent the nation at WorldSkills Sao Paulo in August.

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