British engineers are on track to build a better Britain - having battled to a fantastic finish at the ‘Skills Olympics’ – WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany.
As our sports stars shone in Australia, Germany and Wimbledon – our skilled youngsters excelled at arguably the most important event of all.
Team UK, supported at the event by skills organisation EAL, came through the ‘Leipzig litmus test’ with flying colours snapping up two gold medals, one silver, three bronze and 17 Medallions of Excellence.
And our engineers more than played their part in amassing the impressive collection of medals bagging a bronze and 7 Medallions of Excellence
The RAF’s Ben Tullett, aged 22 from Fleet in Hampshire, struck bronze for Aircraft Maintenance.
The Senior Aircraftsman Technician from RAF Odiham, was overjoyed when the announcement was made in a packed Leipziger Messer before an audience of more than 10,000.
“I am really pleased. We have all worked very hard to get to the finals – and to go home with a medal is absolutely fantastic.”
The three-man Manufacturing Team from Yorkshire was awarded Medallions of Excellence – with a record score for their efforts
Daniel Gebhard (21) and Andrew Maguire (22) both from Bradford and George Moffat (21) from Skipton, were among the last of the competitors to finish their gruelling Manufacturing Team Challenge.
More than 1,000 young apprentices, from 54 nations have completed 4 days of intensive competition in 40 different disciplines.
The results, announced at a spectacular closing ceremony, showed the UK has consolidated its position in the international skills league.
Ann Watson, Managing Director of EAL said: “What a wonderful effort from our young engineers! – each and every one of them.
“The team has dedicated the last two years of their lives ensuring that they were ready to meet this challenge – a commitment that has paid dividends for themselves, the team and their country.
“This result will help to inspire the next generation of skilled professionals – which we need to build a better Britain.”
“With 82,000 skilled engineers retiring in the next couple of years and order books beginning to fill – we need to use this triumph as a catalyst for a resurgence in the sector.”
Four other engineers won Medallions of Excellence:
- Andrew Craig (21) from Cardross, Glasgow – Mechanical Engineering CAD
- Alastair Wilson (22) from Tillicoultry, Scotland – Welding
- David Cargill, (19) from Ballyclare, Northern Ireland - Mechatronics
- James Overend, (22), from Belaghy, Northern Ireland - Mechatronics
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "British ambition and ingenuity has once again taken on and beaten the best in the world and I extend my congratulations to Team UK. As we compete in the global race, this Government is on the side of ambitious young people who want to work hard and get on and we will continue in our efforts to build the biggest and best apprenticeship programme."
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Congratulations to Team UK who brought home six medals and 17 Medallions For Excellence from the WorldSkills in Leipzig. They have demonstrated that when it comes to skills Britain has world-class ability.
"Vocational skills are important to the success of every business. That's why in these difficult times I have prioritised apprenticeship funding, so that employers can access the country's talent to help build a stronger economy."
Official Delegate to team UK Jaine Bolton said: “I am so thrilled for them. We got 24 medals in London two years ago and 23 here.
“The fact that our Mechanical Engineering team got a Medallion of Excellence was particularly pleasing – achieving our best ever score.”