Battle’s Edward takes home the gold at competition

Edward Harringman. Picture by Ellis O'Brien
Edward Harringman. Picture by Ellis O'Brien

A construction trainee took home the gold in an international competition, coming top in his field.

Edward Harringman, 21, from Battle, joined 41 of the UK’s most talented students, apprentices and employees at the WorldSkills competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which was held from August 11 to 16.

He was awarded the Gold medal in cabinet-making, his specialism.

Members of Team UK went head-to-head with 1,000 individuals from across the globe to be named the best in the world at skills ranging from visual merchandising and electrical maintenance to bricklaying and jewellery making.

Edward said: “I can’t believe I have won gold. It is such a fantastic feeling. I have put so much hard work into training for the competition over the last four years, that to be coming home with gold is just incredible.

“Once the jet-leg has subsided, I’m looking forward to cracking on with work and building my cabinet-making business. I’m sure this medal will help.

“The whole WorldSkills experience has been amazing. I’ve met so many people and made a lot of friends, as well as received top quality training to really hone my skill. I hope young people up and down the country are inspired by the success of the whole of Team UK.

“The competition was very tough, much more difficult than I expected. The biggest challenge was the timing within the project, which was a lot of work. I had to work flat out for four days straight and only finished it in the last 10 seconds!

“I’m very happy now, and relieved it’s over, but so pleased it ended on a high note.

“I learned so much about other countries, the quality of their cabinet making and their different styles of working. I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved, and of being part of Team UK.”

Team UK, whose members are all aged 18 to 25, won three gold, four silver and two bronze medals. The team was also awarded 24 Medallions for Excellence, which are given to competitors who demonstrate the attainment of world-class standards in their chosen skill.

In a letter to each individual competitor, prime minister David Cameron was full of praise for their efforts.

He said: “Team UK demonstrates how the best of our apprentices and vocational learners can compete at the highest international level.

“The skills they were competing in are vital for the long-term success of our economy. It is also important to remember that they are role models for the next generation of apprentices and vocational learners, who will be inspired by the team’s achievements in Brazil.”

It is not the first time Edward has come top in similar competitions.

In 2012, he was named the UK’s top cabinet-making trainee at the national final of SkillBuild, the UK’s largest multi-trade competition.

Almost 1,000 entrants took part in 14 regional heats across the country in a bid to make it to the final.

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