UK electrician victorious at skills equivalent of the Olympics

Richard Sagar of Eden Electrics has taken the gold medal in electrical installation at the WorldSkills Competition in Calgary, Canada.

He shared top honours in the event with Japan’s Kawashita Masahiko and Jeremy Leveque of France in a close-fought competition.

Richard, 22, scored 541 points in the event – 500 points represents world class standard.

Overall, the UK won three gold and six bronze medals at skills ranging from painting and decorating to floristry and autobody repair. In addition the UK was also awarded 14 medallions for excellence given to competitors who achieve at least the 500 points mark.

The biennial WorldSkills Competition takes place over four days of tough competition. 900 young people from across the world test themselves against rigorous international standards, with the ultimate prize of winning gold, silver or bronze for their country.

The UK has a good track record at the WorldSkills Competition, and was 11th in the world at the last event, held in Japan in 2007 and the team are now waiting to find out where they rank for 2009.

Simon Bartley, chief executive of UK Skills, which manages Team UK said: “What Team UK has achieved is outstanding. They have all worked so hard to get to where they are and that has certainly paid off. Once again we have shown that we have the very best young talent in our country. It’s a tremendous result not just for the competitors, but for their employers, trainers and colleges.

“We hope to build on this success as we move towards the next WorldSkills Competition, which London will be hosting in 2011, where we hope to do even better.”