Derby-based accountancy apprentices Chloe Insley, Siobhan Collins and Kay Brown proved they are ‘The Best in the Business’ and amongst the UK’s most talented apprentices as they took Gold at WorldSkills UK, part of The Skills Show, which was held at the NEC in Birmingham this week.
This is a 3-day event held at the NEC in Birmingham, visited by over 100,000 members of the public, and in which Babington participates every year in the Accounting Technicians category. This prestigious event tests skills across a whole variety of sectors including; bricklaying, social media, hairdressing – and of course accounting.
Babington Accounts Academy
Two teams from Babington’s Accounts Academy competed in the WorldSkills heats back in April, where their skills were tested, both at an individual and team level. 60 teams competed in the heats, and both Babington teams excelled, progressing into the semi-finals that consisted of 16 teams. It was the team nicknamed the ‘Accountaholics’ who took centre stage, and their place on the podium.
Video Interviews with the Gold Medal Trio
Best in the Business
Chloe, Siobhan and Kay all completed their AAT Level 2 Accounting qualification at Babington, based at Pride Park in Derby, and were selected by their AAT Level 3 tutor, Cliff Evans, to compete in the Accounting Technician section of World Skills UK. Asked how it felt when they were announced as the winners, Chloe commented:
“I can’t really remember much about the actual moment when it was announced, but it was a really good feeling to win gold and know that all of our hard work has paid off.”
“To find out we were actually in the final was really exciting. It is quite encouraging to find out that all of the hard work we had put in had paid off. Even if we hadn’t won the taking part was a great opportunity in itself.”
Siobhan reflected on how the recognition of winning was vindication of all the effort they’d put in during their studies:
“To meet other people in our own industry was great, and even if you think that you’re good at what you do it is very gratifying to have it confirmed”.
During the finals, the teams involved had to undertake a variety of tasks which tested their competence, not only in Accountancy but in other areas such as; planning, project management, professionalism, teamwork and communication skills. These skills were tested on both a written and verbal level. The gold medalists were announced at the awards ceremony that took place on Saturday night, where all finalists partaking in all vocational and academic skills involved in the show were celebrated, and their achievements recognised. The winners of Gold at WorldSkills UK can also go on to compete at the International WorldSkills finals; which in the past have been held in Sao Paolo, London and Vancouver.
Carole Carson, Managing Director at The Babington was understandably pleased with their success:
“Babington is delighted that the girls have won Gold at WorldSkills UK, it’s an amazing feat and they should be immensely proud of their achievement. Knowing the amount of hard work, dedication and commitment everyone puts into the awards makes the win even better, I’m also proud of the team at Babington who have been instrumental in preparing the trio for the win”.
Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise Matthew Hancock said:
“Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. These are skills at their best. We celebrate and salute their skills. Vocational skills helped make the UK in generations past and vocational skills will build Britain’s future. I very much hope today’s winners will inspire the stars of tomorrow.
Theo Paphitis, Patron of the Skills Show and a supporter of work-based training: “Skills are of vital importance to economic growth in the UK. The Skills Show has inspired a new generation to get the most from further education, skills and apprenticeships.”
Babington has competed at the WorldSkills UK show for the past four years, all of which have had successful outcomes.
A team Bronze back in 2010, finalists in 2011 and an individual Gold in 2012. The continuing success this year in achieving a team Gold at WorldSkills UK, confirms the quality of training provided by Babington and is a testament to all the hard work put in by the teams and their tutors.