Four MTC Training apprentices have reached the National Finals of the 2022 WorldSkills UK competition. They will put their advanced manufacturing skills to the test at the finals in November.
Two learners from the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre and two from Oxfordshire Advanced Skills beat stiff competition from across the country to qualify for the national finals.
Jack Leonard and Omar Awaad, first year apprentices at FANUC UK Ltd and Regent Engineers Leicester, are finalists in the Industrial Robotics competition, while second year apprentices Darren Mitchard and Tony Yarinakis from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) will compete in the CNC Milling final.
The aspiring technicians battled it out against other current and recently qualified level 3 apprentices and students across two competition stages. Working in teams of two, entrants completed tasks designed to test their technical and professional skills under pressure, with the top scorers progressing to the national finals in Blackpool and Coventry.
One of the youngest apprentices at MTC Training’s Coventry site, Jack Leonard said he was thrilled to have made it to the latest stage of the competition.
“I’d never even heard of WorldSkills before my apprenticeship, but it sounded interesting so I formed a team with someone I’d never met before, and now we’re finalists! I’d love to win and to have the chance to represent the UK in the world competition, and perhaps to help teach and mentor other young UK competitors to succeed in the future,” he said.
Darren Mitchard, who completes his off-the-job training at the OAS training centre in Abingdon, and was entered into the competition by his employer STFC, said the experience had already been a brilliant opportunity so early in his engineering career.
“It’s been a very steep learning curve because CNC wasn’t on my radar before, but I’ve really enjoyed it. Reaching the finals is a very memorable achievement already and we’re working hard to further our skills before the next stage of the competition,” he said.
All four learners are completing the Level 3 Engineering Technician Apprenticeship Standard delivered by MTC Training, which is part of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, a member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult network.
MTC Training’s managing director, David Grailey, said he was delighted that both training centres would be represented in the final stage of the national contest.
“The standards in this competition are very high and the apprentices’ achievement really demonstrate their fantastic determination, commitment and progress so early in their engineering careers.
“Our mission is to upskill the next generation of talent with the expertise UK advanced manufacturing businesses need now and in the future. Robotics and CNC are two crucial areas for the sector, so this is a brilliant achievement which will benefit both our learners and their employers. It’s also great recognition for our training teams and the employers who have supported these apprentices to achieve so much already,” he said.
The finalists will now prepare and practise in their training centres and workplaces for the last leg of the UK competition. Competitors who achieve a benchmark score at the finals will be invited to opt into Squad UK during December for the WorldSkills Lyon 2024 cycle.