Rob Johnson: A year on from WorldSkills

Date: 04 January 2017

We’ve caught up with Rob to see how his career has progressed since heading to Brazil and securing fifth place overall in 2015.

WorldSkills is the biggest vocational education and skills competition in the world and last year, Rob Johnson, a young plasterer from Middlesbrough, represented Team UK in the Plastering and Drywall Systems category.

Have you finished your plastering apprenticeships?

“I’ve finished my training and have Level 1, 2 and 3 qualifications in plastering. I’m now getting involved in lecturing, so I’m doing my teaching qualifications.”

Are you still working for your father’s company, Classic Plaster Moulds?

“I don’t think he’ll ever let me go! I still work with my dad but I’m also involved in lots of other projects. As well as lecturing, I’m also on a shortlist to become the Training Manager for the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi Team for the 2017 competition, so that would mean training the competitors for five days a week and moving out there for a few months. Fingers crossed!”

What kind of projects have been working on since competing?

“Bigger and better jobs. The business has grown since I competed. We’ve hired more people and we’re getting involved in jobs and opportunities that wouldn’t have come about had I not competed.

“Members of English Heritage have approached me to work with them and learn the plastering skills that were used many years ago, and I’ve also had the opportunity to work on jobs with Middlesbrough Football Club. I can’t tell you any more than that yet though!”

Have you been involved in this year’s competition?

“British Gypsum invited me to be a guest judge at The Skills Show in 2015, but I haven’t had as much involvement this year. My brother has competed this year so I’ve taken a step back and supported him from the side lines. However, I am going to be an annual judge for The Skills Show in future, and have been asked to help Dave Kehoe train competitors for the WorldSkills and EuroSkills competitions!”

What advice would you give to anyone looking to do a plastering apprenticeship?

“Choose a good college that has lecturers who will support you, and compete! Getting out there and putting yourself in front of employers can really help raise your profile and make you stand out.”

Thanks Rob!

Find out more information about WorldSkills, by visiting their website.

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