Apprentices prepare for skills competition

By Dean

10 Nov 2014

Four apprentices from BAE Systems’ Military Air and Information (MAI) business will compete in the national finals of the WorldSkills UK competition which takes place at the UK Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham on Thursday, November 13.

They will compete against the best in Britain at computer aided design (CAD) and CNC milling where they will be expected to show how quickly and accurately they can complete a complex piece of work against a tight deadline.

Callum James, 19, of Longridge, who is a support engineer on the F-35 Lightning II programme at its Samlesbury site, said the support of the tutors had been “a massive help” to his preparation.

“It is not just what they can tell you about the skills of tackling the task to get the maximum marks, they can teach you how you handle the pressure of competition and manage your time better.”

He started working with the competitors in the summer along with fellow CAD former competitors David Liptrot and Joe Higginson with James Taylor supporting the CNC milling competitors.

“Handling that pressure is something that only comes with experience, so if myself and the others who have been in the competition before can help our guys get an idea of what that is all about, it will only help them.”

It saw them set tasks including machining a piece of metal and designing a robot in just three hours, half the time they will get in competition.

He said: “We take our responsibility for developing our young people very seriously and recognise the benefits competing in these events can bring to their personal development.

“They are not just great ambassadors for our business but also for what British manufacturing can do.”

They will be competing in the CAD and construction metalwork competitions respectively. If they are successful, the apprentices will progress in to the Team UK squad with a view to making the team which heads to the World Skills finals, a bi-annual competition held at locations across the world.

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