The elite of British engineering have grabbed a ‘bank vault’ of medals and ‘done their nation proud’ - at the Skills ‘Olympics ‘WorldSkills 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In a stellar night for Semta’s engineering Team UK no less than 10 of the 12-person squad won medals – the highest in the competition’s history. Alex Elton, aged 21, from Nuneaton, picked up a coveted Medallion of Excellence – proving him to be among the very best CNC Turners in the World.
Alex, who trains at Warwickshire and Hinckley College and works in the oil and gas industry for MNB Precision in Coventry, picked up the ‘gong’ before more than 8,000 people at a glittering closing ceremony. “What an amazing week – what an amazing night. I will never forget it. “I can wait to get back to Britain and celebrate with friends and family.”
Aircraft engineer, Shayne Hadland, from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, who comes from Dudley, won a silver medal and was awarded Best in Nation – for the highest score of anyone representing the UK in all disciplines at the event. (with the exception of Beauty Therapist Rianne Chester who won the coveted Albert Vidal award for highest score of all 1,200 competitors).
It comes at the climax of years of regional heats, national finals, team selection, and gruelling hours of intense training to get them to world class standard. More than 200,000 spectators attended the four -day event, which closed with a glittering ceremony where the results were announced.
Ann Watson, CEO of Semta, the employer led organisation tasked with skilling engineering and advanced manufacturing, which runs the regional and national engineering heats in the run-up to the WorldSkills Finals, says that the team will return home triumphant.
“Take a bow Team UK! – you have done Semta and your nation proud! “You have surpassed our wildest hopes and most optimistic expectations. “Four years of dedication, intensive training and triumph in our regional and national heats, have placed you at the very pinnacle of your generation. “Your efforts and achievement will act as a beacon for generations to come – you are the true stars of the 21st Century – and we need to radiate your passion and success far and wide.”
Semta and sister company, specialist-awarding organisation EAL, are planning a special Parliamentary reception to honour the engineering team’s achievement. Ten of the twelve man engineering team are studying or have studied for an EAL qualification (8 winning medals in the bargain).
The next WorldSkills Finals, which happen every two years, take place in Abu Dhabi in 2017.