Britain’s engineering elite touches down in Brazil

Posted on 10 Aug 2015 by Jonny Williamson

Twelve young British engineers - the best of their generation – are aiming for ‘Skills Olympics’ gold this week at the WorldSkills 2015 finals in Brazil.

Competitors from eighty nations have gathered in Sao Paulo having already seen off more than 600 young hopefuls during regional and national heats organised by Semta – the Sector Skills Council for engineering and Advanced Manufacturing.

More than 100,000 spectators are expected to attend the six-day event, the culmination of years of competition and grueling hours of intense training to get the entrants to world class standard.

Engineering Team UK:

  • Shayne Hadland (RAF Benson), Aircraft Maintenance, RAF Benson
  • Alex Elton (Nuneaton) – CNC Turning, MNB Precision
  • Christopher Hanson (Bradford) – Construction Metalwork, City Training Services
  • Balint Bogdan (Portadown) – Electronics, Belfast Metropolitan College
  • Patrick Devanney (Bradford) – Manufacturing Team Challenge, Carnaud MetalBox
  • Dominic Trees (Bradford) – Manufacturing Team Challenge, Carnaud MetalBox
  • Christopher Renwick (Leeds) – Manufacturing Team Challenge, Carnaud MetalBox
  • Andrew Beel (Dundee) – Mechanical Engineering, Pacson Valves
  • Robyn Clarke (Chester) – Mechatronics, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK
  • Andy Smith (Chester) – Mechatronics, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK
  • Reece Taylor (Durham) – Welding, Dyer Engineering
  • Michael Watson (Bristol) – CNC Milling, GKN Aerospace

Proceedings open with a glittering ceremony on Tuesday (August 11) – and closes in the early hours of Sunday morning (August 16) when the results will be announced.

CEO of employer-led Semta,  Ann Watson said that Team UK epitomises the great heritage – and future – of British engineering.

“Forget the World Cup or the Olympics – this is THE most important competition to be held in Brazil. Britain should look and learn  – the status of young engineering apprentices is far higher in other countries than it is here.

“If the Government is to achieve the challenging target of 3m new apprentices during this Parliament – we will have to achieve a cultural shift in the country’s attitude to vocational training.

“Young engineers are lauded by other countries – given superstar status, feted by the media – and applauded by the public.

“The standing that engineering holds is often mirrored by the performance of a nation’s manufacturing base and economy – these young people need to be granted iconic status.

“Semta wants other young people to want to emulate TeamUK – and get energised by engineering.”

Prime Minister David Cameron wrote to each Team UK member urging him or her to do the country proud.

He wrote: “Expectations are high and you deserve congratulations for making it this far.

“The skills that you are competing in are vital to the long-term success of our economy. It is important to remember that you are the role models of the next generation of apprentices and vocational learners.”