I wish to congratulate the 45 students and apprentices from across Northern Ireland's further education sector who have reached the WorldSkills UK finals.
The local finalists will compete in a field of 400 of their counterparts from England, Scotland and Wales, across 23 skills areas, including industrial robotics, landscape gardening and web design.
I am delighted, too, that the Ballymena campus of Northern Regional College is one of 25 venues across the UK selected to host the finals over 10 days in November, hosting the industrial robotics event.
Reaching the national finals is a fantastic achievement for our local competitors and I wish them the very best of luck and every success for their respective skills competitions as they set off to represent Northern Ireland.
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