July 21, 2024

Top college unveils 16-strong team to take on WorldSkills UK finals

COLEG CAMBRIA will take a 16-strong team of apprentices to this year’s WorldSkills UK competition.

The event will be held over three days from November 14 at colleges, independent training providers and universities across Greater Manchester, including Rochdale, Salford, Wigan and Leigh, and Oldham.

The representatives from Cambria are:

Aircraft Maintenance – Kieran O’Loan, Jamie Foulkes, Aiden Williams, Henry Ankers, Jack Price, James Donohue (All Airbus)

CNC Milling – Theodore Philip-Holloway (Tata Steel), Iwan Brewin, Harry Rogers (Magellan Aerospace), Tai Jones (Unimaq)

Welding – Brandon Nicholson (Fabdec), Zachariah Winn (Kendley Ltd)

Electric Installation – Ben Gillin (Lloyd Morris Electrical)

IT Support Technician – Koziah Sylvester (Brother Industries UK)

Metal Fabricator – Jimmy Smith (Kendley Ltd)

Network Infrastructure Technician – Joshua Mitchell (Lancaster University)

The finalists will compete in 51 skills categories before the medallists are announced at a glittering awards ceremony on November 17 at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

Among those delighted to be competing is Brandon Nicholson, from Caerwys, an apprentice at Fabdec in Ellesmere.

Supported by lecturer Carl Parrish, Brandon was training to become a teacher but decided on a change of career and signed up to a night class in welding at the college’s Bersham Road site in Wrexham before moving on to a Level 3 City and Guilds qualification.

“I’ve really enjoyed it and am looking forward to WorldSkills UK,” he said.

“It’s a step up from anything I’ve experienced before being new to the industry but I’m ready for the challenge.”

Those words were echoed by Harry Rogers, one of three Cambria learners to contest the eight-strong CNC Milling final next month.

The 17 year-old, a former Darland High School pupil, was praised by Shauna Craig, Academic Manager at Magellan Aerospace, for being a “shining star” and “inspiration” to the company’s other apprentices.

Harry added: “I’m hoping for a long career in this industry, so this is a great foundation to build on, I’m looking forward to it.”

Learner Experience and Enterprise Manager Rona Griffiths congratulated the team on their “incredible achievement”.

“Every year I am amazed by the dedication and skill of our learners, and the support of our industry partners,” she said.

“This year is no different, you are a credit to the college, and we wish you every success in the competition.”

Cambria’s Principal Sue Price added: “For them to be among the top eight in the UK in each category is already a fantastic achievement, and whatever happens they can say they are the very best in their field.

“We are very proud of them, this is life-changing and the skills they pick up over the coming weeks of training ahead of the event will be used in their daily lives going forward – it’s a fantastic opportunity for them all.”

UK Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon wished the competitors luck and said: “WorldSkills UK not only provides an unparalleled opportunity to hone your skills and climb the ladder of opportunity towards a better and brighter future, but it is also a chance to celebrate and champion vocational courses and the further education sector.”

Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive of WorldSkills UK, added: “The young people that take part in our national programme are a true inspiration and demonstrate the skills we have in the UK. As well as giving them the chance to shine we will be sharing their career journeys and success stories, so we can inspire more young people, from all backgrounds, to see that an apprenticeship or technical education is a first-class route to success in work and life.”

The finalists from this year’s National Finals could be invited to join the WorldSkills UK International Development Programme for WorldSkills 2026.

Visit www.worldskillsuk.org for more on WorldSkills UK.

For more news and information from Coleg Cambria, visit www.cambria.ac.uk.