Young engineers taking part in global challenge
TESTING THEIR SKILLS: WorldSkills challengers, from left, Christopher Hodge, James Walker, Aidan O'Flinn, Adam Rostron and George Patchett.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 2 Jun 2017
YOUNG engineers from the Humber region are aiming to help themselves and their industry by sharpening their skills in a global challenge.
Four young men from Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA) were joined by one from Grimsby Institute for the first UK heat in the latest WorldSkills event.
At stake are places in the UK final, which will take place in November at the NEC in Birmingham, with the ultimate international challenge set for 2019 in Kazan, Russia.
The first task took place at HETA's workshops at CATCH, Stallingborough, where the apprentices spent the entire day making a miniature railway wagon from scratch.
Nick Marshall, chair of the Association for Welding, Fabrication, Training and Education committee, part of The Welding Institute, said the competition is designed to benefit the individuals and industry at a time when the UK needs more engineers.
Nick, who is also curriculum manager at Grimsby Institute, added: "The task demands that the apprentices demonstrate the skills they will need at international level – marking, measuring out, drilling, thermal cutting, fabricating and assembly.
"It's a tough task particularly in the time they have. It's nine hours in total and it has to be tough because when they get to the international level everything is on a really tight time scale. It is about accuracy and efficiency.
"Training providers and large employers realise the importance of competitions like this and they recognise how important it is to be represented at the highest level. British Steel, BAE Systems, Tata and WEC Group are among the major companies which are involved."
The HETA event was the first of nine which will take place nationwide by the end of June. The contestants were Aidan O'Flinn, Adam Rostron, Christopher Hodge and George Patchett from HETA and James Walker from Grimsby Institute. They will find out in July whether they have made it to the NEC competition.
Christopher, who is from Scunthorpe and works for Blackrow Engineering Ltd in Grimsby, said: "I thought this would be something good to put on my CV and on references. It's also a bit of fun coming into it without having any idea what they will want you to make. It's a lot more challenging. It would be nice to get to the NEC and even better to get to Russia because it could lead to a lot of opportunities.
Adam, who lives at Barrow on Humber and recently joined Weightlifter Group in Scunthorpe, said: "I've learned a lot at HETA. I did this because I wanted to challenge myself and see how far I can get."
This is the third year that HETA has hosted WorldSkills at CATCH. Mick Jaques, fabrication and welding instructor at HETA, said: "We do it to give the lads experience and we provide the facilities to give them the best chance of doing as well as they can and showcasing their skills.
"The fact that these lads are here shows they are committed. They are passionate about the industry and they have put themselves forward to be put under pressure. That says a lot about their character. Ultimately it's about them."
Biomass supplier's technology and transport investments will bolster growth plans