News & Events
World Class Skills
- Posted by: pembscollegesuperadmin
Four boatbuilding students from Pembrokeshire College’s MITEC school of Boatbuilding and Marine Engineering showcased their skills at the world’s largest international skills competition and careers event – WorldSkills London 2011 recently.
Sean Allen, Gethin Jenkins, Joe Leighton-Trew and Zack Williamson went with MITEC tutors Mike Proudlove and Richard Davies Scourfield to the Excel exhibition centre in London’s Docklands to take part in the event, which was the largest that has ever been held celebrating the best skills, crafts and trades from teams from over 50 countries.
The College team demonstrated traditional and modern techniques including spar-shaping (shaping wooden oars) and composite moulding using resin infusion techniques and also encouraged visitors to ‘have a go’ to promote career opportunities in boatbuilding and marine engineering. Richard Davies-Scourfield, head of boatbuilding said: “This event offered a fantastic opportunity for us to share our skills with a wide audience and to give youngsters the chance to have a taste of careers they may not have previously considered.”
This high profile event was visited by over 200,000 British school children and members of the public, and offered students from all over the world the opportunity to compete and showcase their skills and crafts. Geoff Russell, the chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency said ‘this is the biggest and best vocational event the world has probably ever seen.
‘The Prime Minster, The Duke of York and Princess Ann have been – and along with us all, they have all be blown away by what they have seen. We have also brought in thousands and thousands of kids from all over the country, who have a ‘cafeteria’ approach to see and try out and decide what they might want to do with their lives.’
Pembrokeshire College apprentices were also at the event competing in the WorldSkills environmental science competition organised by Prospect, the union for professional scientists, engineers and managers. The team had to design sustainable energy sources for an imaginary island, and won the silver award, being beaten by a strong team from Newcastle. The competition gave students the opportunity to mix with other teams from across Europe and to be part of the Worldskills week.
Rhydian Williams, a joinery instructor at Pembrokeshire College, who has also competed in WorldSkills competitions, attended as a supervisor and advisor in the carpentry competition.
During the event, it was announced that a national skills event would be held annually, to allow the best young skilled apprentices and students to compete and showcase their work and to offer school children an opportunity to experience many skills and assist in their decision-making regarding career choices.
Richard Bamber, director of Technology at Pembrokeshire College said: ‘The Worldskills movement encourages and celebrates excellence and provides a fantastic opportunity for students – and their teachers – to strive to be the best in their chosen field.
‘The next generation’s skilled workers are also a fantastic role model for the young people who attend Worldskills events. Having a presence at the ‘Skills Olympics’ has been a real eye-opener for our students and they have done us proud’.
Jeff Cuthbert AM, the Welsh Assembly Government’s Deputy Minister for Skills, also visited the boatbuilding showcase as part of his tour of the Welsh contingent at the event to support Welsh colleges at Worldskills.
Pembrokeshire College was also invited to the National Training Awards 25th Annual Ceremony to pick up a certificate after being named the National Training Awards 2011 Wales’ winner in the Large Employer Category for delivering outstanding training programmes. The College had won the Welsh regional award for its innovative work in training managers and developing staff support services to reduce the amount of sickness absence. The college’s scheme was shown to have reduced the sickness absence rates to 3.35%.