Team UTC Sheffield Win Three WorldSkills UK Medals

Our UTC Sheffield City Centre engineering students are celebrating after winning three medals in a prestigious skills competition that attracted entries from across the UK.

Three teams representing UTC Sheffield City Centre,  won two gold medals and one bronze medal at the WorldSkills UK National Finals. A fourth UTC team was also highly commended. The results place the UTC as among the top performers for engineering skills after competing against colleges, employers and universities from across the UK.

WorldSkills UK aims to inspire and equip the next generation with lifelong, world-class skills that the economy needs to help businesses compete on the global stage. In the overall medals table, the UTC is ranked sixth alongside two other institutions. The UTC also jointly has the highest number of individual learners – four – selected for Squad UK, the next stage of WorldSkills. The UTC shares that top spot with North East Surrey College Of Technology.

Alex Reynolds, Principal, UTC Sheffield City Centre campus, said: “I am so proud of our students. They were exceptional and are amongst the UK’s most highly skilled young people in engineering. It takes professionalism, dedication, and technical as well as teamwork and problem solving skills, to perform well under pressure in such a competitive environment. Our students develop the attributes and skills needed by employers, and their WorldSkills UK National Finals performance is testament to that.”

UTC Sheffield student Paul Hayter, 17, won a gold medal in the automation competition, and aspires to study mechatronic and robotic engineering at the University of Sheffield. He said: “Even though I was rather daunted by being one of the youngest competitors there, competing in WorldSkills UK with my teammate was a great opportunity. Earning the gold medal is one of my greatest achievements. Meeting potential employers at the Skills Show was also hugely beneficial and I’m sure it will help me progress in my future engineering career.”

UTC Sheffield was the only UTC to compete at WorldSkills UK. Altogether, 12 learners – comprising eight current students and four alumni who are now at university or employed at British Petroleum or Toyota – competed for UTC Sheffield working in six teams of pairs. They were:

  • Ben Woods, 18, and Paul Hayter, 17, who competed in the automation engineering category, and won a gold medal.
  • Kamil Zmich, 19, and Will Davis, 21, who competed in the mechatronics engineering category, and won a gold medal.
  • Emily McDonald, 18, and Bradley Ellison, 17, who competed in the automation engineering category, and won a bronze medal.
  • Callum Jones, 17, and Cameron Tawn, 17, who competed in the industrial control engineering category, and were highly commended.
  • Joshua Drake, 17, and Caitlin Mavura, 17, who competed in the industrial control engineering category.
  • Owen Schofield, 18, and Tom Spires, 18, who competed in the mechatronics engineering category.

The automation and mechatronics competitions required competitors to build circuits using pneumatics, electro-pneumatic, motors and drives. Competitors then had to complete more complex circuits using an industrial computer control system called programmable logic controller (PLC). In the mechatronics competition, the teams’ final task was to build a fully automated production line from scratch in three hours. The UTC’s gold medal winning team completed the task with more than an hour to spare.

UTC Sheffield alumnus Will Davis, 21, who is studying a Degree in Mechatronics at Middlesex University in London, said: “UTC Sheffield started my engineering career. Studying at the UTC gave me the A Levels that I needed for university as well as extra technical skills that set me apart and helped me to find the niche of engineering that I wanted. It also allowed me to compete at WorldSkills. As a result, I found my first year of university easier. I’m in my second year now, still flourishing and trying to stay ahead of the bunch. My ambitions are to work in the industry on PLC programming, and to be in the first UK team to win a medal in mechatronics at WorldSkills Russia 2019.”

Around 500 young people from colleges, employers and universities took part in WorldSkills UK held at the Skills Show in Birmingham from November 16th to 18th. WorldSkills UK aims to help young people go further and faster in their careers, gaining the skills that employers need most. WorldSkills UK helps young people from all backgrounds to get the best start in work and life, and covers a wide range of sectors and 55 disciplines from aeronautical engineering, automotive technology and beauty therapy to butchery, graphic design and media make-up.

The competitions use real work projects to test competitors’ knowledge, raising their skills levels as they embark on their careers. They also build attributes valued by employers including teamwork, prioritisation of tasks, time management and working under pressure. Visit https://www.worldskillsuk.org/

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