Skills Olympics Aero squad in training at CAVC

31 October 2014

Skills Olympics Aero squad in training at CAVC

Competitors for the Aircraft Engineering rounds of the prestigious WorldSkills UK came to Cardiff and Vale College for some expert training ahead of November’s finals.

Two sets of candidates came to the College’s renowned International Centre for Aerospace Training (ICAT) based at Cardiff Airport. There the two groups are competing in the Mechanical and Avionics finals of WorldSkills UK. Often referred to as the ‘Skills Olympics’, some winners will this year could go on to compete in the global WorldSkills finals in Sao Paulo next year.

Training at ICAT was organised by Lead Aeronautical Engineering Lecturer Leighton Marson and engineering training provider semta. Lecturer Les Ball undertook training for the Mechanical competition in ICAT’s aircraft workshop and Leighton provider Avionics practice in the avionics lab during the two-day coaching session.

WorldSkills competitors from a range of organisations took part, including the RAF, Fleet Air Arm, QinetiQ and Jaguar Land Rover.

“The competition is designed to reflect the role of an Aerospace Technician and the standards are set to those that are expected in the aeronautical industry,” Leighton, who has been a WorldSkills judge for the last five years, said. “We originally had one student for the competition but he had to drop out because he obtained an apprenticeship with British Airways Heathrow so we wish him the very best of luck!”

Over the two days the competitors were able to gain practice in their associated skills and had the opportunity to meet other contestants going forward to the finals. They were given expert advice and information by Les and Leighton and a team from semta.

Also present during the training was Level 2 Aircraft Engineering ICAT student Martha Ormerod, who is not taking part in WorldSkills this year but is determined to put herself forward for next year’s competition. Martha had come in during her half term Study Review Week to get a taste of what WorldSkills entails.

“I wanted to find out more about the event in general and see what I will have to do when I go forward next year,” Martha, who is 24 and lives in Llantwit Major, explained. “It has been really nice to meet these different people – people who are in the WorldSkills competition and people who are interested the same field as me.”