Engineering Squad UK

At the UK final of the national SkillsShow in Birmingham last month, Jimmy Page (previously at PerinsSchool) took Gold and Tom Andrews (previously at The Petersfield School) came fourth and was awarded highly commended. Both students were selected for Squad UK to be trained for selection for Abu Dhabi Worldskills in 2017.

Following on from qualification in regional heats in the summer held at Alton College Sonardyne Centre for Engineering and Design Technology, three Alton College students made the top 10 National Finalists to compete at Worldskills (the UK’s largest skills and career event across a plethora of vocational skills) at the NEC in the Industrial Electronics section. The three day competition comprised of five timed tasks set by UKSkills revolving largely round a compass. They had pre-prepared a PCB for the event, but then went on to modify, solder, programme and design a compass, as well as soldering a clock. Three competitors from each category go through to train for the next level of competition and one will then be selected to represent the UK.

Both Jimmy and Tom said that the experience had been ‘fantastic, and really worthwhile’ and that they would ‘definitely encourage all College students to take part if given the opportunity.’ Tom said it had been challenging but he had enjoyed it and it had given him ‘insight into the value of good preparation.’ Jimmy immersed himself in the whole event, exploring all the other skills categories, finding forensic science, butchery and patisserie of particular interest!

Barbara Cox, Curriculum Manager for Engineering makes entry into the competition open to all her students, and encourages as many as possible to get involved. Barbara is also a judge for the competition, something she has been doing for the past five years and which she thoroughly enjoys. She said: '’Having had five years judging in the final, the standard increases every year and this year was the best yet, even with the standard increasing and the tasks getting harder each year, Jimmy'’s result was the highest yet. On previous results Tom's percentage would have given him the gold!’'
Jimmy is currently studying the Foundation Degree in Engineering at Alton College (awarded by the University of Portsmouth) and will go on to complete a degree in Engineering once he finishes. Tom is hoping to gain an apprenticeship once he completes his BTEC National Extended Diploma in Engineering.
Find out more about studying Engineering at Alton College here

Photo l-r: Barbara Cox, Jimmy Page, Tom Andrews