Appliance of science sees UCG student reach final of UK event

United Colleges Group (UCG) are proud to announce that one of its students has made it to the final stage of a prestigious national competition.

Cassandra Fernandes — a second-year Level 3 Science student at the College of North West London (CNWL) — has been recognised by WorldSkills UK in the Laboratory Technicians Category and is in the running to take the top spot as she faces seven fellow learners from across the UK at the final event at Manchester University on November 14-17.

WorldSkills UK have invited Cassandra to spend an all-expenses paid, four-day stay in Manchester during the competition as she showcases her science lab skills to a panel of judges from industry, university, colleges and training providers.

The 20-year-old’s achievement in reaching the finals is a remarkable one — the entry stage was an online test in March/April. WorldSkills UK then invited Cassandra to the national qualifiers in early June at Middlesex University and she became one of the final eight. Last month, she returned to Middlesex University for training and development.

WorldSkills UK’s competitions are designed by industry experts and help young people grow personally and professionally by developing their technical and employability skills. The competition-based development programme is proven to upskill and develop young people from all backgrounds and abilities.

Robert Halfon, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, said: “Congratulations and best of luck to all of the apprentices and students competing in the national finals this year and showcasing their exceptional talents in a diverse range of skill disciplines, from manufacturing and engineering to health and social care.”

Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive of WorldSkills UK, said: “I offer my congratulations to all the national finalists. The young people that take part in our national programme are a true inspiration and demonstrate the skills we have in the UK.”

Rahwa Tecle, UCG Science Technician Team Leader, said: “Cassandra's journey showcases the profound impact of mentorship and dedicated training by science technicians at UCG.

“I couldn't be prouder of her achievements and her opportunity to compete on such a prestigious platform.

“Cassandra's achievement on reaching the final is an embodiment of the limitless potential that comes with hard work and determination. She is an inspiration to us all and reinforces the importance of relentlessly pursuing one's passion.

“Best wishes for the finals at Manchester University, Cassandra! You have our full support, and we believe in your capabilities to shine on this grand stage.”

Dr Fatima Hussein¸ CNWL Science Lecturer,said: “Behind every successful laboratory-based endeavour is a team of skilled technicians who provide the necessary training and resources.

“Our institution boasts an excellent team of technicians who have worked tirelessly to equip our students with the practical skills and knowledge needed to excel in their field.”