Nia Griffith MP has congratulated two constituents for reaching the World Skills Final.

Alfie Hopkin, a student at Coleg Sir Gâr in Llanelli, will represent the United Kingdom in a four day web design competition in Abu Dhabi later this year. He joins a team of highly skilled individuals from across the UK, all hoping to secure victory in their respective events.

A former pupil of Glanymor School, Alfie will attend the competition that is often dubbed the ‘Skills Olympics’, which will see a number of countries attempting to win the title that was won by Brazil two years ago when Team UK finished in tenth place but ahead of all other European nations.

Alfie, who has previously created his own games, became involved with an IT academy at Coleg Sir Gâr. The college leads on the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project, which is funded by the Welsh Government, and encourages participation whilst offering a supportive infrastructure for Welsh competitors in Skills Competitions at a Wales, UK and international Level.

Alfie, who has spent the last two years studying a National Diploma in Computing at Coleg Sir Gar, will return to college in October to pursue a Higher Education Degree in Computing whilst working for Probe, a manufacturing process and quality engineering consultancy firm based in Bridgend. Probe have recently developed a software product called POET which will be used to report and drive performance improvement within its client’s businesses.

On his route to the World final, Alfie won the Wales Web Design competition, then winning in one of 6 UK regional heats be invited to compete at the UK final held in the NEC in Birmingham. Alfie was one of five UK-wide competitors that were selected from the UK final to advance to receive six months of training as part of Team UK. With the likes of Brazil and South Korea training their competitors all year round, Alfie will be hoping to make a real mark. Alfie will be joined by his trainer, Mike David, who is a lecturer at Coleg Sir Gâr as well as being the UK Training Manager for Web Design.

Elizabeth Forkuoh, who is also from the Llanelli area, will represent the UK in the restaurant service event, along with two other members of the UK team, Joseph Massey (Aircraft Maintenance) and Ethan Davies (CNC Milling), both from North Wales.

Speaking about both contenders, Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith said: “I am delighted to hear of Alfie and Elizabeth’s achievements. It is fantastic that of a team of 34 UK competitors, two are from Llanelli: a great credit to them and their tutors. They have already seen off competition from the rest of the UK and I wish them both and the team the very best of luck. We’ll all be cheering them on. But the story does not end here. However highly they are ranked in the competition, they now have very marketable world class skills which they can bring to the workplace, benefitting both themselves and the wider economy, and I am sure they will be an inspiration to future students.”

Paul Evans, Pan Wales Coordinator for the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project said: “Competitions are a great way for learners today to showcase their skills and demonstrate their ability to be best in class. We are extremely fortunate in Wales that we have the ability to nurture these skills and compete in a global market. I am thrilled with Wales’ performance so far and wish the Team of 4 competitors representing Wales and the UK the very best of luck for World Skills Abu Dhabi in October this year.”

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