Play to win at the WorldSkills competition

In this article: We speak to Declan Porter, part of Team UK as he heads to Kazan in Russia to compete in the WorldSkills competition

When the 45th WorldSkills competition throws opens its doors in Kazan, Russia at the end of August, it will bring together competitors from 63 countries and regions, competing across 56 different skills.

This year, members from Team UK will be heading to the skills Olympics to battle for the chance to be crowned world champion in their chosen skill.

One of Team UK’s representatives is Declan Porter from the North West Regional College, who will be competing in Auto Tech after being spotted at the IMI Skill Auto final in 2017.

With the chance to pit his skills against others from around the world, Porter is excited about the competition, the opportunities it offers and how it will help him become a more rounded technician:

What got you interested in the motor industry?

Helping my dad work on cars from a young age really inspired my passion. I completed an IMI Level 3 in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair at North West Regional College in Springtown. I am now working towards an IMI Level 4 at night at North West Regional College, and have worked in Donagheys Garage since beginning my apprenticeship.
How has your career evolved following your IMI Skill Auto experience in 2017?

It has made me more confident when I'm working on vehicles. I can deal with the public better and people watching me. I can deal with pressure and competition pressure much better.  It has improved my skills a lot and given me a lot of experience and training. I have also gained a lot of knowledge on vehicle systems.
What support have you had in preparing for the WorldSkills competition?

North West Regional College has given me a lot of support, they also allow me to train in the college. Also, Barry McDaid, my WorldSkills UK training manger and lecturer at my college has put a lot into training me, and my employer, Donagheys Garage for letting me have the time off to do this. I have also received training from the very best around the UK and abroad.

What’s the biggest life lesson you’ve learnt so far from competing?

What you can achieve if you work towards it. When you are competing, you’re against yourself and if you go in with a clear head and try to think outside the box in every task, you will succeed.

How are you feeling about travelling to Kazan and competing?

A bit nervous but I'm also very excited and really looking forward to it.

What would you say to someone thinking about entering competitions?

I would tell everyone to enter WorldSkills UK competitions as it’s a life changing experience both professionally and personally. You are bettering yourself at your skill and also getting trained by the best. You gain so much from all the new people you meet and friends you make from different places and countries.

To watch WorldSkills Kazan 2019, tune into Showcase TV (Sky 192, Freesat 161) on Thursday 22 August (5:00pm, BST) to catch the excitement of the Opening Ceremony, and Tuesday 27 August (5:00pm BST) to join in the celebrations from the Closing Ceremony.