Limerick students qualify for European and World Skills Finals

TUS Chairman Professor Vincent Cunnane with All Ireland World Winning Trades Champions Jack Rice (right) and Reece Seery.

TWO Limerick TUS students have qualified to represent Ireland at the Euro Skills final in Gdansk next year and the Worldskills competition in Lyon in 2024.

Culinary arts student Jack Rice and mechanical automation apprentice Reece Seery earned their qualification when they were awarded the Worldskills Ireland titles at the RDS in Dublin, where they battled tough competition to win the top prize in their respective categories.

Congratulating the All Ireland winners and their mentors, TUS President Professor Vincent Cunnane said they represented the university’s commitment to active learning and the development of highly skilled, work-ready graduates.

“With their proven skills and ambition, I know Jack and Reece will continue to do us proud in this global competition, and I wish them the best of luck for the next phase,” he added.

Both have already achieved success at Worldskills after winning silver in different competitions, before winning the gold medals this academic year.

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Jack, who is from Farranshone in Limerick City, said he was boosted by winning silver in the national final of the World Skills Ireland (WSI) cooking competition to clinch gold at Worldskills 2022.

Paying tribute to his mentors Jim O’Meara and Eithne Gavigan, he said: “It’s a tough competition, but I urge people to do it because it’s a big challenge.

Reece, from Offaly, said he was delighted to be named National Industrial Mechanic at Worldskills Ireland.

“I would like to acknowledge the support of Keith O’Brien and Garret Walsh who supported me during phase four of my apprenticeship. They made sure I was strong for the 2021 competition but unfortunately I finished second in the final. However, they both pushed me to try again in the 2022 competition, and that was of great benefit to me,” he said.

Worldskills Ireland is a partnership between business, industry, education, training and government to raise the profile and recognition of skills and learning in Ireland.