Four students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been successful at the WorldSkills UK National Competition.
Laura Bailey, Jacob Payne, Claire Pickering and Miriam Shellabear, from the School of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, picked up awards at the competition hosted by The Skills Show at the NEC Birmingham.
The UK’s largest skills and careers event saw 800 of the UK’s most talented apprentices and learners battle it out to be named ‘the best’ in their skill.
In the forensic science competition Laura, Jacob and Claire won gold, silver and bronze awards respectively, while Miriam was highly commended for her work. Amy Fretwell, George McDonald, Victoria Saunders and Jenni Keraenen were the other students competing from UCLan.
Laura, a third year student on the BSc (Hons) Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation course, was delighted to win gold against such stiff competition.
She said: “I was truly overwhelmed. I'm still finding it hard to believe I won gold even now. Anyone taking part in the forensic science competition deserved the gold. It really was a challenging competition which put you under pressure.”
BSc (Hons) Forensic Science and Anthropology student, Jacob, echoed these thoughts. He said: “I really, wasn't expecting to win silver so I spent the rest of the evening absolutely ecstatic.
The forensic science competition consisted of three stages designed to assess students understanding and knowledge of forensic science and its use within the criminal justice system.
Students were required to deliver a 20 minute presentation about the role of the first attending officer to preserve any crime scene.
This was followed by a mock crime scene where competitors were asked to collect evidence in order to compile a crime scene report and a witness statement.The final part of the competition saw the students attend a mock court room where their witness statements, evidence collection and packaging were all under scrutiny.
WorldSkills UK Competitions inspire young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level. Entering the competitions is proven to catapult a person’s career and both Laura and Jacob are hopeful their success will benefit them in future.
Laura said: “The benefit of this award shall be tremendous. Since winning it has already been organised for me to meet with several forensic companies, giving me both connections and an insight into my future career.”
Jacob added: “I definitely think this award will help in the future. Second in the country in a national competition is something that can help you stand out from other candidates when it's on your CV, and you have the evidence for it.”