WorldSkills 2013: The British contenders

The British team gathered at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig.

With WorldSkills 2013 under way in Leipzig, Germany, James Pozzi profiles the young engineers flying the flag on behalf of British industry.

Ben Shaw

Nottingham-based EAL learner Ben Shaw will be competing in CNC milling,  where competitors using a vertical machining centre must produce metal parts covering different practical scenarios. Through his training provider Central College and employer the University of Nottingham, Ben says it is his training that set him in good stead for an event dominated by South East Asian nations in previous years.

He said: “My training manager has drummed in to me the importance of remaining committed to my training and staying focused. Both of which I am determined to do, to be in with the best chance of winning.”

Ben Anderson

Anderson, who hails from the Lancashire town of Clitheroe and is also an EAL learner, is set to compete in the CNC turning event. Pitting the best young, skilled craftsman in metal cutting and inspection technology against one another, Ben, who works for MotorSport Advanced Developments and North West training provider is Training 2000, feels tight timescales will be a deciding factor.

“For me, it will be the accuracy needed in the tight timescales we are given to complete the tasks that will be the most difficult thing to overcome. There is no room for error,” he said.

Matt Page

KMF Precision Sheet Metal employee Matt Page, completing the British trio of EAL learners, will represent his country in the sheet metal technology event. The events in this category which contestants train for are altered 30% by judges on the day so challenges remain just that.

He said: “I have been training solidly for the last three months and with the support of my employer and training manager I hope I can go far.  I am determined to do all my supporters proud.”

 Andrew Craig

The Glaswegian will be vying for the Mechanical Engineering Design – CAD prize in Leipzig, hoping to add it to his national victory at the Skills Show last November. Employed by P & D Engineering while supported in his training by Motherwell College, the Scotsman is among the favourites for the title.

Craig cites accuracy and speed as the two vital skills required in CAD, and says his interest in the sector was ignited by a family friend. “He told me to concentrate on finding a college I liked and to make sure I researched the different areas of engineering to see which one would suit me the best. For me, it was CAD that really caught my interest and now I am concentrating on building my career in that discipline,” he said.

Watch video of the opening ceremony of WorldSkills Leipzig 2013