A 22 year-old from Gower College Swansea has won a Gold medal in the electronics final of a national skills competition.
Backed by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund, Skills Competition Wales is a series of events held in colleges across the country, designed to celebrate vocational skills and create highly skilled, award winning employees for the Welsh workforce.
Michael Jones, who is studying a Level 3 entry level award in electrical engineering, competed against 21 other students from across Wales in a series of engineering challenges within a seven hour time period. The competitors were tasked with creating a digital clock, finding and repairing faults in a circuit and demonstrating their theory knowledge in a written paper
Michael said he couldn’t believe it when they called his name as the winner.
“The competition was tough, it was nerve wracking competing against so many others, not knowing how well prepared they were. Luckily, I’d been able to practice with my tutor before the competition to make sure I completed each task on time.
“As part of my course, I’ve been working one day a week at TV manufacturers, Tongfang Global, in Swansea. It’s been really useful seeing each stage of the manufacturing process, from making the circuit boards on the production line to testing the TVs. It’s helped me experience working under pressure.
“Once I’ve finished college, I’m hoping to join a contracting company as a fully qualified engineer.”
More than 35 competitions are taking place this year, across a wide range of different vocations from plumbing and beauty therapy to aeronautical engineering and accountancy.
The successful Welsh competitors may go on to challenge youngsters from across the UK at the WorldSkills UK national finals, held at The Skills Show in Birmingham’s NEC this November. Competitors who excel at The Skills Show may then be shortlisted to compete against the world’s most talented young people at the international WorldSkills competition in Kazan, Russia in 2019.
Steve Williams, Curriculum Leader for Digital Technology at Gower College Swansea said: “We were delighted to host the Skills Competition Wales Industrial Electronics Final at Gower College Swansea and, once again, were incredibly impressed with the talent of all the competitors. These young people have very bright futures ahead in the industry and we wish them all the best.”
Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James said: “At the Skills Show last year, the Welsh team topped the leader board of UK regions winning a total of 45 medals, which demonstrates that we’re producing some of the most highly skilled young people across the nation.
“In a year when Wales is celebrating legends of the past, competitions like these showcase the talent across the country and provide a platform for emerging Welsh legends of the future.
“Along with Michael’s hard work and determination the support from his college is an important factor in his success, and I would like to extend a special thank you to all the local businesses, schools and colleges across Wales who support these talented individuals.
“I would like to congratulate Michael on his fantastic achievement and wish him the best of luck in the next stage of the competition and his future career.”