Young engineers make WorldSkills UK final

Young engineers Thomas Unthank and Rhys Davies are going head-to-head in a bid to win gold in the WorldSkills UK finals this week.


Rhys, 20, and 19-year-old Thomas, both from Maidstone in Kent are third year apprentices at BAE Systems in Rochester, studying an EAL NVQ Level 3 in electronic engineering through on the job training.

They will be taking their place in the Industrial Electronics final – one of the 13 WorldSkills UK engineering competitions run by skills specialists Enginuity being held at the Skills Show in Birmingham’s NEC from 13-15 November.

Rhys said: “Over the next couple of days we will be using a number of skills with the electronics you find in your everyday things – we will be designing and building them, fault finding and doing all the things associated with the process. A couple of colleagues won silver and bronze last year so they have been very helpful giving us some great advice.”

Thomas said: “We are a little bit nervous but well prepared. We have done all sorts of pre-competition tests and put a lot of hours in. The company has really helped us with the training. We will just have to see who wins.”

They will find out if they have won at an awards ceremony on Saturday (Nov 15).

Julia Chippendale, managing director of EAL, the specialist awarding organisation for industry qualifications said: “It is fantastic to see so many of our students like Rhys and Thomas putting their learning into practice and showcasing their skills on such a big stage.

“The competitions play a vital role in raising skills standards among young people and provide an opportunity for competitors to challenge themselves against the best in the country.

“A highly skilled workforce with relevant qualifications to prove employees have reached the standard required is vital to the future of the UK economy. Our learners will prove an inspiration to the thousands of young people visiting the Skills Show and I wish them the very best of luck in their quest to win Gold medals.”

The competitions run and supported by employer-led Enginuity , which is engineering skills for the future, are: Aeronautical Engineering (Avionic), Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical), CNC Milling, CNC Turning, Industrial Electronics, Mechanical Engineering:CAD, Mechatronics, Mobile Robotics, Construction MetalWork, Sheet MetalWork and Welding.

The Skills Show attracts around 75,000 visitors. It also provides a wide range of hands-on experiences for visitors to inspire them to explore skills, further education and Apprenticeships, helping them to gain advice on how to take the next step into the world of work.

They will have the opportunity to try over 45 skills for themselves in the interactive “Have a Go” experiences across the show in careers ranging from hairdressing to engineering, hospitality to plumbing.

The Skills Show is free to attend and open from 13-15 November 2014.  For more information, and to book your place, please visit www.theskillsshow.com 

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