A SHAW teenager has been selected to represent Team UK in the ‘Olympics.’
However, 19-year-old Sam Taylor is not heading for Tokyo 2020 but for Kazan 2019.
He will not be running, cycling or swimming to try and win gold. Instead he will be showing off his landscape gardening ability against a host of international competitors.
Sam, a former pupil at Rushcroft Primary School, is taking part at the WorldSkills event in Russia.
The competition from August 22-27 is also known as the ‘Skills Olympics’.
Now an apprentice at Myerscough College near Preston, Lancashire, Sam’s representative honour marks him out as one of the UK’s best and brightest young skilled apprentices and students.
He recently attended a special parliamentary reception ahead of the WorldSkills tournament.
Sam, who previously attended Crompton House School, was invited to compete for a place in Team UK after excelling in the WorldSkills UK National competitions.
He is one of only two landscaping apprentices in the 37-strong squad.
Sam has been undertaking his Intermediate Apprenticeship in Work-based Horticulture with Myerscough College and is based at Garden TLC in Oldham.
Anne Milton MP, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, addressed the House of Commons reception and met Sam, who is based at Garden TLC in Oldham.
“It is quite extraordinary what you are about to do,” she told the team.
“You are all ambassadors, not just for your chosen skill and for WorldSkills UK, but for all young people around the country.’’
Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, CEO of WorldSkills UK, said: “We are ready and we are proud.
“These young people are the high flyers of their generation. In front of a global audience they will champion the focus on skills, foreign investment and trade, demonstrating that the UK is a world-class place to do business and create jobs.
“Think Olympic Games – but much more important to the economic future of the United Kingdom. This is a life-changing opportunity for all those involved.
“I couldn’t be prouder of these extraordinary young people who will be on the plane to Russia.
“They have worked tirelessly for weeks, months and years to be the best. They are a shining example to the next generation. Let us celebrate their spirit, commitment, and success.”
Sam is one of the youngest members of Team UK. At the House of Commons, members of Team UK were presented with their official enamel which is given to apprentices who represent the UK in international skills competitions.
Teams from more than 70 countries and regions will compete in 56 disciplines ranging from: cyber security, 3D Game Design, to plumbing, painting and decorating, electrical installation, cooking and floristry.
They will take place in an enormous purpose-built structure outside the Tatarstan capital, which is 800 km east of Moscow.
The WorldSkills Finals in Russia is the 45th in WorldSkills history and is expected to attract over 100,000 visitors.
During the last WorldSkills Finals in 2017, which took place in Abu Dhabi, Team UK secured a top ten position.