Team UTC Sheffield were among 500 students who took part in WorldSkills UK 2017 National Finals in Birmingham

21 Nov 2017, 3:36 p.m. / News

UTC Sheffield engineering students are celebrating after winning three medals in a prestigious skills competition that attracted entries from across the UK.

Around 500 young people from colleges, employers and universities took part in WorldSkills UK held at the Skills Show in Birmingham from November 16th to 18th. WorldSkills UK aims to inspire and equip the next generation with lifelong, world-class skills that the economy needs to help businesses compete on the global stage.

Three teams representing UTC Sheffield City Centre campus won two gold medals and one bronze medal at the WorldSkills UK National Finals. A fourth UTC team was also highly commended. The results place the UTC as among the top performers for engineering skills after competing against colleges, employers and universities from across the UK. In the mechatronics competition, the teams’ final task was to build a fully automated production line from scratch in three hours. The UTC’s gold medal winning team completed the task with more than an hour to spare.

Alex Reynolds, Principal, UTC Sheffield City Centre campus, said:

I am so proud of our students. They were exceptional and are amongst the UK’s most highly skilled young people in engineering. It takes professionalism, dedication, and technical as well as teamwork and problem solving skills, to perform well under pressure in such a competitive environment. Our students develop the attributes and skills needed by employers, and their WorldSkills UK National Finals performance is testament to that.

UTC Sheffield student Paul Hayter, 17, won a gold medal in the automation competition, and aspires to study mechatronic and robotic engineering at the University of Sheffield. He said:

Even though I was rather daunted by being one of the youngest competitors there, competing in WorldSkills UK with my teammate was a great opportunity. Earning the gold medal is one of my greatest achievements. Meeting potential employers at the Skills Show was also hugely beneficial and I’m sure it will help me progress in my future engineering career.

UTC Sheffield alumnus Will Davis, 21, who is studying a Degree in Mechatronics at Middlesex University in London, said:

UTC Sheffield started my engineering career. Studying at the UTC gave me the A Levels that I needed for university as well as extra technical skills that set me apart and helped me to find the niche of engineering that I wanted. It also allowed me to compete at WorldSkills. As a result, I found my first year of university easier. I'm in my second year now, still flourishing and trying to stay ahead of the bunch. My ambitions are to work in the industry on PLC programming, and to be in the first UK team to win a medal in mechatronics at WorldSkills Russia 2019.

The UTC is running a series of showcase events for young people interested in creative and digital, advanced engineering, computing, healthcare sciences and sport science. The next events take place on November 22nd, December 5th, January 16th and January 24th. For more information, visit www.utcsheffield.org.uk/events

Students can join the UTC at the age of 13 in Year 9, or aged 14 in Year 10, or aged 16 in Year 12. They study technical and academic qualifications including GCSEs and A Levels. UTC Sheffield recruits students from South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire. The Sheffield College, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce sponsor the UTC.

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