Despite confidence among Team UK trainers and mentors during the WorldSkills competition held last week at the ExCel centre in London, it seems that the best of British talent were unable to outshine foreign talent with just two UK bronze medals achieved firstly, in Mechanical Engineering Design CAD and secondly, in Welding. These medals were taken away by Ryan Sheridan of Motherwell College (previously a gold medal winner at the EuroSkills Competition) and Jake Rambaldini of Doosan Babcock Energy Services respectively.
Mr Sheridan’s achievement was made despite chromic nerves and stress which his trainer Matt Bell of CAD Skills UK, said required medical attention during the months leading up to the competition.
Two other competitors from Japan and Switzerland took bronze medals in the Mechanical Engineering Design – CAD category which required the expert manipulation of Autodesk Inventor software in a selection of challenging design tasks.
Silver and Gold Medal in this category were won by representatives from Singapore and Brazil respectively.
Despite displaying bold confidence in their minimoto bike design, the BAE Systems team for the Manufacturing Team Challenge did not make it onto the medal board – just pipping Korea to come seventh out of the eight competing finalists.
Overall, a brief look at the medal tables shows that the engineering and manufacturing technologies competitions have been dominated this year by representatives from Japan, with strong presence from Korea. Outside the Far East Brazil have shown that investment in skills for its booming manufacturing industry is paying off with the South American nation gaining 7 seven medals across relevant categories.
Within Europe the best performance came from Switzerland who achieved medals in five categories including two silver medals in Construction Metal Work and Electronics.
The WorldSkills event at Excel received more than 200,000 visitors from across the UK and it is hoped the competition will have raised awareness among young people and teachers as to the opportunities available through vocational education and industrial careers.
Th Edge Foundation sponsored Team UK through their participation in the 2011 competition having supported the initial bid for London to host the event. This organisation will now be working to consolidate the enhanced profile of vocational education which the event has achieved in order to create a strong legacy. A key part of this ambition is to encourage WorldSkills alumni – past competitors – to be active in talking about the experience of representing their country on the international stage.
For full details of the medal winners at WorldSkills London 2011 go to www.worldskillslondon2011.com/info/results.