An Ellesmere Port-trained gaming student will be going for gold this autumn.

Patrick Buckley, 17, from West Cheshire College, has successfully secured a place at the 2016 WorldSkills UK national finals taking place in November at the NEC Birmingham.

After achieving top marks at the regional heats early this summer Patrick will now be competing to be crowned a WorldSkills UK Champion in his category and to go on to represent the UK internationally as part of the squad and Team UK.

WorldSkills is the largest skills competition in the world held in cities around the globe.

The WorldSkills UK competitions aim to equip young people with the right skills to help UK businesses compete better globally.

They seek to raise standards, esteem and levels of expertise in further education, apprenticeships and skills through competition activities and local initiatives.

A games development student at the college Patrick beat competition from over 80 other students to be selected as one of the top eight in the UK for his category 3D Games Art.

He said: “The whole experience has been great from winning the inter-college competition to now being chosen as one of the top students in the UK.

“I would definitely recommend competing to other students.

“A West Cheshire College student actually won the gold last year which is really inspiring but also adds a bit to the pressure.

“If I win the college will be the first one in the UK to be awarded the gold for the second year running. I’m happy to be in the final but it would be amazing to take home the gold.”

He continued: “The college and the tutors have been so supportive.

“I have done the work outside of college hours but the tutors have all been on hand to offer technical advice on how I can improve my 3D models and make them the best they can be.

“The other plus of competing is that I have been able to meet other gaming students from different colleges as well as networking with senior artists from major gaming companies which will all hopefully help when I start looking for a job after completing my course next year.”

Paul Browne, programme leader for games technology and media and who spearheads the college’s WorldSkills 3D Gaming entry, said: “I’m really proud that this is the third year running that one of our students has reached the final and that we are in the running for the chase to win a Gold for the second time in two years.

“Patrick is an excellent student who has worked really hard and is in with a real chance of retaining the gold for the college.

“During the final he will be asked to complete 17 hours of modelling over three days in what can be a pressured environment but he is more than capable and I know he will do exceptionally well.”