From education to employment

‘I wanted to prove to my dad that I was a good cabinet maker’, says first ever UK WorldSkills competitor

When Doug Hill entered the WorldSkills competition back in 1953, all he wanted to do was to prove to his dad that he was a good cabinet maker. Little did he realise that he would become its first ever UK competitor.

He travelled to Madrid with his father and picked up the silver medal.

Inspired by his son’s success, his father founded Team UK and built it into the organisation it is today and was later awarded the MBE.

Hill went on to build a successful notice-board company and built the first flight indicator board for Heathrow Airport.

“I am here today because I believe that apprentices bring the skills that this country needs,” he told FE News yesterday on the sidelines of the London 2011 Worldskills competition.

“They are the core of our skills base, we can sell the products as they will be made to a high quality.”

He added: “It’s so different from 1953, I was a team of one, waiting to meet my other UK competitors but there weren’t any.”

Hill now spends his time encouraging young people to become apprentices and ‘earn as they learn’.

Although he is retired he is still putting his engineering skills to good use, helping to rebuild an old steam engine at the Didcott Heritage Centre.

“I would encourage all employers to send their apprentices to these competitions it really brings them on, when they come back to the company they are so

highly skilled that they can move that company forward,” he said.

Rachel Salmon


Click on the link below to watch the interview:

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