16th November 2017
As the WorldSkills UK national skills competition finals get underway at this year's Skills Show, a former engineering competitor shares her competition journey over the past three years and explains why she's loved every minute of it.
Having started out as a shy, quiet teenager Betsy Crosbie is now brimming with confidence and passing on the knowledge she has learned to fellow competitors as a Team UK medal winning skills champion.
She has experienced different cultures, gained many new friends for life, created a network of excellent contacts for her future career prospects and enjoyed the taste of success on medal podiums across the world.
"I have learned so much about myself and my trade over the last three years," says Betsy. "I have been able to experience things that not everyone gets the chance to do and it has simply flown by."
Betsy, 21, from East Kilbride started competing in WorldSkills UK competitions in 2014. Having won through the regional heats in her discipline Mechanical Engineering: CAD (Computer Aided Design) she went on to the national finals in Birmingham.
Competing at The Skills Show at the NEC in front of thousands of visitors saw her finish in last place but the disappointment spurred her on to continue developing her skills.
With the support of her training provider New College Lanarkshire, Betsy returned to Birmingham the following year to pick up a silver medal and win a place in Team UK to compete at EuroSkills 2016 in Gothenburg where she picked up a Medallion of Excellence.
Further success followed with a Medallion of Excellence at the recent WorldSkills International final in Abu Dhabi.
"Competing against so many nations as part of Team UK was an incredible experience," she said. "It was such a massive competition and it really was an amazing spectacle.
"I would say to other young people to take every opportunity to compete and make the most of it. You will not regret it. Yes, it is hard work with a lot of training but I am so pleased and proud to have taken part and won medals along the way."
As a Skills Champion, Betsy will deliver a Masterclass to competitors taking part in the WorldSkills UK finals at The Skills Show in 2017 along with other members of Team UK before completing her studies.
"I am really looking forward to seeing a different side to the competitions," said Betsy. "I would like to thank Barry Skea and all the team at New College Lanarkshire who have been so supportive," said Betsy. "I hope my experience can help others achieve success. It has given me tremendous confidence and so many new skills."
Head of Faculty (Acting) for Engineering and Automotive at New College Lanarkshire Barry Skea, who is also a WorldSkills UK judge and expert said: "Betsy has shown what hard work can achieve. She has developed enviable technical skills and a strength of character that will stand her in good stead in the future. I am sure that the next step in Betsy's career will be as exciting as her WorldSkills journey and she will continue to be an ambassador for skills and become a leader in the world of STEM in the future."