Midas touch sees Britain’s best young engineers strike gold

Britain’s best young engineering talent struck Gold at the nation’s biggest skills fiesta – The Skills Show in Birmingham.

Many will now continue their intensive training and represent their nation at the WorldSkills Finals, to be held in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

Krzysztof Gornisiewicz & Kamil Zmich (both 17-year-old students), UTC Sheffield.
Krzysztof Gornisiewicz & Kamil Zmich (both 17-year-old students), UTC Sheffield.

More than 130 young people took part in the WorldSkills UK engineering competitions run by employer-led Semta at the Skills Show in Birmingham’s NEC – which attracted more than 100,000 visitors.

Gold, silver and bronze medals were handed out at the Big Celebration to mark their achievements after three days of intensive competition, involving tasks ranging from concept and design through to manufacturing a working product.

Ann Watson, CEO of Semta, which is responsible for equipping the UK’s vital engineering, science and manufacturing technologies sectors with the skills to compete on the global stage, commented: “We have seen some of the country’s most talented young engineers in action and they deserve huge congratulations for their efforts.

“The competition was not just about the three days but the months of preparation, learning and training. This is absolutely Semta’s frontline. It is our greatest opportunity to get access to young people, their parents, teachers, employers and Government.

Ann Watson, chief executive, Semta.
Ann Watson, chief executive, Semta.

Watson continued: “It was fantastic to see the competitors showcase their skills in such a pressured environment to the thousands of visitors, among them Secretary of State Sajid Javid who saw for himself the value of apprenticeships and engineering to the UK economy.

“I am confident all those selected for Team UK will build on the team’s fantastic success [at WorldSkills] in Sao Paulo this year, where 10 out of the 12-strong squad took home medals –  the highest in the competition’s history.”

The Skills Show, which ran from November 19 to 21 at Birmingham’s NEC, is organised by Find a Future – the educational organisation that brings together WorldSkills UK Skills CompetitionsThe Skills Show and The Skills Show Experience, providing young people across the UK with the chance to unlock their potential and get inspired about the world of work.

Through hands-on skills competitions and experiential careers events, it aims to develop their understanding of, and engagement with, further education, apprenticeships and skills.

Around 100,000 visitors had the opportunity to try more than 45 skills for themselves in the interactive “Have a Go” experiences across the show, in careers ranging from hairdressing to engineering, hospitality to plumbing.

WorldSkills UK 2015 – winners:

Aeronautical Engineering: Avionic – Jack Bruckshaw, 25, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, an aircraft engineering technician with the Royal Navy based at RNAS Culdrose, Cornwall.

Aeronautical Engineering: Mechanical – David Sutton, 23, from Barry, South Wales, works for QinetiQ at Boscombe Downs, Salisbury.

CNC Milling – Ethan Davies, 20, from Mynydd, Flintshire. Employed as an apprentice CNC machinist by Electroimpact, in Hawarden. Studies at Colleg Cambria and has been awarded EAL’s Level 3 engineering certificate.

CNC Turning – Phillip Whiteside, 19, from Preston. Employed as an apprentice at Rolls-Royce with an EAL NVQ Level 3.

Construction MetalWork – Thomas Woodburn, 18, Darwen, Lancashire, WEC Group Ltd, working towards an EAL welding qualification.

Industrial Electronics – Jimmy Page, 19, of Alresford, Hampshire, a student at Alton College, Hampshire doing an Apprenticeship at Sonardyne in Yateley.

Mechanical Engineering: CAD – Michael Skora, 18, Originally from Poland but living in Newry, Northern Ireland for nine years and a student at Southern College, Northern Ireland.

Mechatronics (Advanced) – Krzysztof Gornisiewicz & Kamil Zmich, both 17-year-old students at UTC Sheffield.

Mechatronics (Higher) – Jack Dakin, 21 of Kilburn and Humzah Razzaque, 22 from Leicester, both of Toyota Manufacturing in Burnaston, Derby.

Sheet MetalWork (Advanced) – Thomas French, 18, of Stoke, employed by KMF Precision Ltd, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, studying Level 2 EAL manual welding certificate.

Sheet MetalWork (Higher) – Adam Griffiths, 24, of Mold, North Wales, employed by G J Maintenance Engineering in Deesside and studying at Colleg Cambria. He won bronze last year.

Welding – Jamie Lee Robinson, 23, of Workington Cumbria, a welder at Tata Steel Projects, studying EAL Manual Welding Certificate at Lakes College, West Cumbria. He won a silver medal last year.

Manufacturing Team Challenge – Bruno Forkuoh, 23, James Stallard, 21, both from Llanelli and Jamie Davies, 21, from Ammanford students at Colleg Sir Gar in Carmenthenshire, South Wales.