UTC Sheffield Celebrates WorldSkills Success

24 November 2014

UTC Sheffield Celebrates WorldSkills Success

UTC Sheffield students Edward Anderson, 17, and Jacob Staniforth, 17, with Principal Nick Crew and Vice Principal Alex Reynolds, who leads on the engineering curriculum.

UTC Sheffield students are celebrating after fighting off tough competition from companies and universities to win a prestigious WorldSkills UK medal.

Edward Anderson and Jacob Staniforth, both aged 17, are completing A Levels and a technical engineering and manufacturing qualification at UTC Sheffield on Matilda Street.

The youngest to take part in their category, they clinched a bronze medal in the Siemens Industrial Process Control competition held at the Skills Show in Birmingham on Saturday November 15th. The pair now has a chance of being selected to compete with Team UK at EuroSkills.

Nick Crew, Principal of UTC Sheffield, said: “This is a phenomenal achievement given that our students were the youngest in their category and competing against ten other teams including companies and universities.”

He added: “I am very proud of them and their success, and the fact they had the confidence to put their technical skills to the test. We are committed to developing the talent of the future and equipping our learners with the academic qualifications and technical skills to support areas for regional business growth. This medal win is testament to that.”

Student Edward said: “We feel really pleased. Being the youngest in the competition, we were just really happy to be able to keep up with the full time apprentice teams. To win a bronze medal was a big surprise. We had a great time, it was an amazing experience.”

Student Jacob commented: “It was fantastic as we were competing against universities and company teams. When our names came up on the big screen it was an amazing feeling.”

Around 600 competitors took part in 60 competitions covering five skills areas as part of the Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham last week. The five competition skills areas were engineering, the built environment, information technology and business administration, social and professional services and the cultural and creative arts.

Lord Baker, Chairman, Baker Dearing Educational Trust, said: “I wholeheartedly congratulate Edward and Jacob for their remarkable success in winning a World Skills medal. This is a real testament to the technical skills they’ve learnt at UTC Sheffield. University Technical Colleges are playing an essential role in preparing young people for important roles in engineering and providing employers with the talented workforce they need.”

Jon Stewart, Metals Technologies Director, Siemens Plc, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by Edward and Jacob. They were competing against much more experienced university students and industrialists but they were nonetheless able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed for success in the competition. Their result proves that a UTC can facilitate the teaching and learning of skills demanded by high value technology sectors, in this case the field of process control automation. Very well done.”

Babak Jahanbani, Didactic Manager – GB, Learning Systems, Festo, said: “The success of UTC Sheffield in the industrial control competition is very significant. It proves that UTCs can confidently compete with teams from further education, higher education and industry. We would like to see as many UTCs as possible participating in the engineering-related competitions. The Skills Show is an ideal platform for bringing academia and industry together and that is very much what UTCs are about.”

UTC Sheffield, for 14 to 19-year-olds, is the first institution of its kind in Yorkshire and Humber, and opened its doors to students in September 2013.

It specialises in the advanced engineering and manufacturing, and creative and digital industries, to help young people get high quality careers and address regional skills shortages. Find our more by watching our film here.

UTC Sheffield has been sponsored and led by The Sheffield College with Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry as co-sponsors.

The Baker Dearing Educational Trust was founded by Lord Baker and Lord Dearing to promote the concept of university technical colleges. It sits at the centre of the UTC network and focuses on promoting and supporting new and existing UTCs.