From education to employment

Top skills gain Rhys gold at national competition

Pictured left to right are Dale Clancy, Stuart Jack, Rhys Boni and Brian Ker

Borders College student Rhys Boni (aged 23, from Jedburgh) has scooped the Gold medal at the WorldSkills UK 2018 competition for Electrical Installation, fending off other finalists from across the UK.

The John Hogarth Ltd (Kelso) employee, who recently completed a compulsory refresher training course at the College in preparation for his final competency test, was put forward for the regional heats by the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT). He then went on to compete in the Scottish heat where he was awarded the top score, obtaining Gold for top apprentice in Scotland.

SECTT Training Officer, Stuart Jack, accompanied Rhys to the three-day competition at the NEC, Birmingham, which this year saw a record number of 85,000 pre-registrations. Over 500 competitors battled it out in 70 different disciplines, watched by scores of visitors who witnessed first-hand the importance and range of skilled trades.

Stuart said:

“SECTT gave me the opportunity to go to the event and support my candidate. This is the first time we have had 4 finalists from Scotland – Rhys competed against people from England, Scotland and Ireland, and came away with the UK title.”
Rhys began at Borders College on a pre-apprenticeship course in 2011 before progressing to the National Certificate, returning when he became an employed electrical apprentice.

Electrical Engineering lecturer Brian Ker commented:

“Rhys has excelled in college and set a really high standard for those around him. He has been a pleasure to work with and since the start he has had the potential to have a very successful career in this industry. He is very deserving of the achievements he has worked hard for. I am very proud of what he has done.”

Engineering lecturer Dale Clancy describes Rhys as a student who, despite his level of knowledge and skill, is never complacent and continues to build on his depth of talent:

“It is no surprise that Rhys has achieved this success, and the support and encouragement that SECTT have also provided is a great advertisement for our region and also for the apprenticeship scheme. Out with all the support and opportunities that this has brought about remains the fact that Rhys is a very talented individual with a great professional understanding, and all the lecturing staff at Borders College are sure this is the start of a very successful career in the electrical industry.”

Rhys enjoyed taking part in the competition and meeting the other competitors. He thanked his College tutors and sponsors – Scolmore and DiLog – as well as the event judges and organisers, adding:

“The electrical industry is full of very talented individuals so winning WorldSkills UK SkillELECTRIC competition will set me out from the crowd when I am seeking future employment. I absolutely love what I do and always strive to put 100% into everything I do, so it was a great achievement to top off my apprenticeship.

“The experience was amazing and I would encourage upcoming electrical apprentices to take part in the event if they are given the opportunity.”

If you are interested in studying electrical engineering at Borders College, find out more about the courses available here.

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