AERONAUTICAL engineering apprentices, vying for a place in the WorldSkills UK (WSUK) International Team, visited HMS Sultan recently in order to hone their skills for the International Finals 2022 in Shanghai, China. Three apprentices from across industry were invited for a week of intensive training ahead of the final selection event in April, which will decide the final candidate who will represent the UK in October.
Under the tutelage of WSUK’s Chief Expert James ‘Jimmy’ Callaghan, and with support from the Defence College of Technical Training’s Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School, the candidates practised various mechanical and avionics techniques, including metal fabrication.
Jimmy said: “The week at HMS Sultan is really good for us as it has all the training facilities, we need for all the basic disciplines that the competition requires. We also hire a house out locally, so we get to cook and live together and talk WorldSkills all the time.
The advantage of bringing all the apprentices together is that it helps bring out their inner competitiveness and it allows them to learn best practice from one another. They know that team moderation is right on the horizon and that if they’re not selected at that point then they will miss out on the final.”
Amongst the competitors bidding for a place in the final was Adelle Hughes, a third-year apprentice from Raytheon UK. Adele said: “It’s quite intense, as we’re covering something new, but it’s been really good. It’s been good to see the skills that I’ve learnt and see them being used in competition. The training is s also helping me at work, as it reinforces the importance of following procedures. It’s also been interesting to mix with other apprentices from across industry.
Being involved with WorldSkills has been excellent as It’s also really helped me with my confidence. When I was in school, I didn’t really have anyone to talk to me about apprenticeships as it was all focussed on University, so working with WorldSkills is really important to me as it helps other young people realise that these opportunities are out there.”
PICTURED BY PEPE HOGAN: Concentration is paramount as WSUK visit HMS Sultan