Graphic Design students Jim Warner and Lauren Crowley from our Medway Campus reached the finals of the World Skills 2017 competition. Held at the NEC Birmingham, Jim and Lauren found themselves pitted against some of the best young Graphic Design students in the country. The competition was over several days and resulted in Jim winning the silver medal.

Jim and Lauren were mentored and supported throughout the entire process by Graphics Design lecturer, Babs Jossi. We caught up with Babs to ask her about her student’s success in such a prestigious competition.

“This is the third year in a row where we have managed to get 2 students to the finals of Worlds Skills and I’m extremely proud of their commitment and hard work. We have so far won 2 golds, 2 silvers and a bronze over the last 3 years which is a great achievement. The process starts at the beginning of March where I register 2 first year students who I feel are positive, mature and have the design skills to put forward. The selection is based upon their grades, performance and overall character and attitude. The students then proceed through various rounds (quarter final, semi-final) to prove their skills are of a high enough level to go through to the finals at the NEC in Birmingham.

It’s a rigorous process and one that the students have to really be focused on, in order to be successful in each round. It is a way of the students putting into practice all they have learnt on the course and utilising their skills an industry situation…so in effect making them work ready. Each brief is written by industry specialists so the work they are asked to do is always pertinent to one of the many aspects of graphic design (packaging, editorial design, typography, advertising, digital skills, illustration, etc). Students have to work to tight deadlines, learn to manage a brief effectively and work to a client’s specific needs all whilst under pressure to produce a high standard of work. This emulates the workplace brilliantly and makes the students understand the benefits of the knowledge, techniques and tasks they have been taught as part of their course and the relevance of them to their future careers.

It reinforces all the various aspects of the course that they have learnt but may not necessarily understand how they will be utilised once they are employed. They also get to meet other likeminded would-be designers and make some excellent industry connections and contacts that will help support their journey forward into industry. I would thoroughly recommend anyone to put their students forward to one of the categories for World Skills, as those students will benefit so much from the whole process. Students become far more confident, not only in their chosen field of expertise but also with their overall communication skills, work place ethic, understanding of industry, and their general mindset will all be enhanced beyond expectations.”