Medallions of Excellence for Kilkenny pair at WorldSkills in Abu Dhabi

Two of Ireland's seven medallions were won by locals

Sam Matthews


Sam Matthews


Medallions of Excellence for Kilkenny  pair at  WorldSkills in Abu Dhabi

The Irish WorldSkills team won seven Medallions for Excellence

Kilkenny apprentice Eoin Shortall (welding) and trainee Kathlyn Leahy (restaurant services) have returned from Abu Dhabi with a Medallion for Excellence each, and a Best of Nation Medallion for Kathlyn Leahy.

In total, the Irish WorldSkills team won seven Medallions for Excellence overall at the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi. The result was achieved by a team of 14 young apprentices, trainees and students who represented Ireland at the competition. 

The Medallions for Excellence were awarded for the following skills: Welding, Aircraft Maintenance, Plumbing and Heating, Beauty Therapy, Restaurant Service, Construction Metal Work and Cabinet Making.

“I am delighted for the Irish team of apprentices, trainees and students," said SOLAS CEO Paul O’ Toole said.

"Representing your country internationally is a huge achievement in its own right. To bring home seven Medallions of Excellence is a great achievement. The team should be very proud of themselves.”

The Irish young people, all under 25 years, proved expertise in their chosen field before they left Ireland by competing against their peers to secure their places on the Irish team. They spent the last four days showcasing their skills and talents against competitors from 60 countries.

Competitors, who come from almost a dozen counties, including Kilkenny, have been in fulltime training for the past 10 weeks under the direction of their coaches. The team has been trained in the Institutes of Technology (CIT, DIT, LIT, WIT & IT Sligo) and Education and Training Boards (Kerry ETB, Waterford Wexford ETB, Limerick Clare ETB) Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute, Shannon College of Hotel Management and Aer Lingus.

The WorldSkills Competition, which is held every two years, is the world’s largest professional education event. Approximately 1,200 competitors from 68 countries and regions will compete in almost 51 different skills and disciplines in Abu Dhabi.  All competitors will demonstrate technical abilities both individually and collectively to execute specific tasks for which they study and/or perform in their workplace.