NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, Sep 5th, 2013.
Trainee engineers at Coleg Cambria proved success comes in threes when they joined forces and won a nationwide quest to find Wales best up-and-coming manufacturing workers.
Richard Wardle, 24, from Sandycroft, Mark Woods, 18, from Ellesmere Port and Tom Edwards, 18, from Llandudno, combined their engineering expertise to take the Gold award in the Welsh Government and EU-backed Skills Competition Wales Manufacturing Team Challenge.
The Coleg Cambria team may now have the chance to compete in the WorldSkills UK final at Birmingham in November 2013, where the highest scoring teams are put forward to compete for a place in the UK squad at the next WorldSkills event, to be held in Brazil in 2015.
The trio also claimed the win on behalf of their employer Airbus UK, where they work at its Broughton base as Level 3 apprentices in mechanical engineering, after beating off competition from the home team at host college Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, who took the Silver award.
Llandrillo students Nia Cunningham, 19, Amy Harrison, 18, both from Deganwy, and James Monks, 22, from Colwyn Bay also took part in the first ever Manufacturing Team Challenge for Wales.
Winning team member Tom Edwards, who joined Airbus straight from school, said:
“I’ve always been really interested in engineering and was lucky enough to get a place with Airbus after my GCSEs, so it’s really nice to have given something back by helping to win this competition on behalf of the company and the college”
“We worked well as a team and finished in good time, and really enjoyed the challenge of putting everything we are learning at work into practice against others working in the same field.”
Backed by the Welsh Government and the European Social Fund, the annual Skills Competition Wales events are designed to showcase excellence in vocational learning and promote the importance of developing a highly skilled workforce.
The Manufacturing Team Challenge was run by Coleg Llandrillo Cymru at Rhos-on-Sea and saw competitors judged by former head of engineering at Coleg Cambria Yale, Wrexham, Wynn Rowlands.
Participants were required to create a candle driven windmill with a sensor and electrical circuit from any chosen materials to the specifications provided, and CAD generated 3D drawings of their design, during the challenge.
Skills Competition Wales aims to find the country’s most talented trainees and apprentices across a wide range of skills, including fields such as catering, automotive engineering, aerospace, construction skills, catering, accountancy, media, and information technology.
Colleges, Sector Skills Councils and training providers host competition finals across Wales offering star learners the chance to test, benchmark and raise their skills levels.
Now the Coleg Cambria team and winners of all-Wales finals in other skills may have the chance to progress to WorldSkills UK finals and possibly even to the WorldSkills International event at São Paulo in 2015.
Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, congratulated the successful contestants. He said:
“These competitions are an excellent opportunity for up-and-coming skilled workers in Wales to stretch themselves and really develop their abilities within their chosen fields”,
“These competitions cover many important sectors of the economy and we aim to encourage young people entering these occupations to benchmark their skills against others in Wales, the UK or indeed internationally.”
To find out more about the Skills Competition Wales and WorldSkills UK please visit www.worldskillsuk.org/wales