From education to employment

Three engineering apprentices in Wales make it to the finals of WorldSkills UK

Three FSG engineering apprentices training with TSW Training Apprenticeships (@TSWTraining) and University of Wales Trinity St Davids (@UWTSD) have made it to WorldSkills UK final (@worldskillsuk), a bi-annual ‘skills Olympics’.

10th September, WorldSkills UK announced its shortlist of apprentices and students shortlisted to compete as national skills champions. 

The WorldSkills UK competition-based development programmes are designed by industry experts and enhance the practical skills and knowledge taught on training courses by assessing an individual’s employability attributes against set criteria in a competitive timed environment. 

Apprentice engineers, Kodie Higgins, Will Holmes and Sion Murray, will compete in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling category in October.

They’ve already gone head-to-head with more than 3,000 applicants to reach the finals, which has been whittled down to just 300 hopefuls, hoping to win gold, silver, or bronze.

Meet the finalists:

Kodie, Sion and Will are employed by FSG as engineering apprentices, completing their qualifications with TSW Training Apprenticeships. 

They train once a month on Mazak machines at University of Wales Trinity St Davids. It gives them the opportunity to concentrate on the programming aspect off-site, so they can learn in a focused environment and apply their skills during production. 

University of Wales Trinity St Davids recognised Kodie, Sion and Will’s stand-out abilities and entered them into WorldSkills UK.

Kodie Higgins

Kodie is on a fast-track apprenticeship with FSG, aiming to complete his apprenticeship in two years’ time. He is working un-supervised in CNC turning on 5axis Intrgerex and 3axis quickturn. In 2021, Kodie won Gold in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling category at Skills Competition Wales. He was asked to use computerised controls and multi-point cutting tools to produce a custom-designed part or product in under seven hours. His part’s conformity to the drawing, its surface finish, its main and secondary dimensions, and his material (pictured), clinched the competition.

Sion Murray

Sion is currently in year three of his Level 3 Mechanical Manufacturing apprenticeship at FSG, moving between sections of the factory to carry out different aspects of toolmaking and working on different machines. In 2021, Sion won Silver in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling category at Skills Competition Wales. 

Will Holmes

Will is also in year three of his Level 3 Mechanical Manufacturing apprenticeship at FSG, working in the Grinding Section.

Impact of national awards on apprentices in Wales

TSW’s Engineering Route Manager, John Moulton has coached Sion, Kodie and Will through their apprenticeships.

“They already have so much to be proud of,” he said. “Kodie, Sion and Will all have an exemplary work ethic and motivation. Earlier this year, Kodie and Sion competed at Skills Competition Wales, winning gold, and silver respectively in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling category. We knew they would go on to achieve so much.

“They are natural inventors and problem-solvers. They have all the right qualities to be successful engineers and competing at a national level, comparing their skills, techniques and abilities outside of Wales, will fuel their ambitions. The finals will be a transformational moment for them.”

TSW Training Apprenticeships Managing Director, Stuart Davies, said:

“Being shortlisted for a national award, based on your abilities, has a huge impact on apprentices. It gives them the confidence to think about their long-term career after their apprenticeship ends. It also gives them the confidence to contribute everything they learn, which sees greater skills transfer into the workplace.”

TSW Training Apprenticeships Director, Sian Mckenna said:

“We’ve been watching Kodie, Will and Sion go from strength to strength this year, using their skills, knowledge and competency to make an impact at work. They face every challenge and are building a bright future career. We’re so proud all three have been shortlisted at WorldSkills UK. It’s a huge achievement they’ve worked hard for.”

Related Articles