Scots Going for Gold at “Skills Olympics” in South Korea and Europe

A video game enthusiast, engineer and plumber are among the young Scots going for gold in international skills competitions this autumn.

The five will be up against young people from across the world and travel as far as South Korea as they battle it out to be crowned number one in their particular skill.

The five Scots in Team UK are:

Name Skill Home town Age Final venue Dates
George Hutchison 3D Game Art Ceres 21 Goyang, South Korea 13–16 October
Mona Nawaz Digital Construction Motherwell 23 Bordeaux, France 19-23 October
Lewis Batchelor Mechanical engineering: CAD East Kilbride 23 Bordeaux, France 19-23 October
Simi Federova Restaurant Services Glasgow 23 Lucerne, Switzerland 23-26 October
Connor Cruden Plumbing & Heating Huntly 22 Lahr, Germany 2-4 November


The competitions are part of the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition, where 61 finals will take place in 15 countries with over 1,000 competitors.


The multi-country international skills competition replaces the traditional biennial event usually held in one city, known as the “Skills Olympics”. This year’s WorldSkills competition set for October in Shanghai was cancelled due to the pandemic. It had originally been scheduled for 2021.


Representatives from all four UK nations will be vying with peers from around the world to be crowned world’s best in 29 different skills. The UK will be looking to improve on a 12th place finish at the 2019 international finals in Kazan, Russia and climb back in to the medal table top 10.


George Hutchinson studies at the University of West of Scotland and was at City of Glasgow College when he applied for the WorldSkills UK competition. He said: “To be rewarded for something I am so passionate about is amazing. I can’t wait to get out to South Korea to challenge myself against the rest of the world and prove all this hard work has been worthwhile. The whole experience so far has given me a huge confidence boost as a person and an artist, and it’s going to make such a difference to my career in the future.”


Mona Nawaz studied at New College Lanarkshire and now works for Balfour Beatty. She said: “I am ecstatic to have reached this level and been selected for Team UK. Representing the UK is such a brilliant opportunity and I am absolutely over the moon. I can’t wait to get out there and show everyone what I can do.”


Lewis Batchelor now works for Probe Test Solutions Ltd in Hamilton and is another former New College Lanarkshire student. He said: “To be selected for Team UK after years of hard work is a huge achievement and so rewarding. It’s proof that if you keep going and believe in yourself you can make it. It’s great to see skill and my passion rewarded and that I get the chance compete internationally. It will be very different to competing in the UK and there will be huge pressure, but I am really looking forward to it.”


Connor Cruden studied at Moray College and now works for Cowie Plumbing and Heating. He said: “It means so much to have made it through after all the hard work and training of the past few years. I have never been to Germany and am absolutely buzzing to be heading out there to try and prove myself on the world stage.”

Simi Federova is a City of Glasgow College student and originally from Slovakia. She said: “My heart was racing when I found out I had made Team UK and it still hasn’t sunk in. It has been a brilliant journey just to get this far and I am delighted it is going to continue all the way to Switzerland.”

WorldSkills UK’s Scotland Director Martin McGuire said: “After the delays and difficulties of the past couple of years, we should all be proud of the skill and determination these young professionals have shown to get out there and represent Scotland. They represent the very best in their field, but will have to be at the top of their game competing against their peers from across the globe.

“The event is a real opportunity to raise the profile and prestige of UK skills and is a life-changing opportunity for all involved. We are not only giving young people the opportunity to reach their full potential but we also believe that, working with them and their trainers, we can transfer the insights gained from competing against other countries to drive up standards at home and boost the economy.”

Share This Story