QinetiQ hosts WorldSkills UK selection tournament

21 May 2014

Four QinetiQ apprentices take part in aeronautical competitions held at MOD Boscombe Down

QinetiQ hosted the 2014 aeronautical selection tournament for WorldSkills UK at MOD Boscombe Down between May 12th-14th. WorldSkills UK is a skills competition run annually throughout the UK with the aim to encourage young people and adults in training across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to excel in their vocational skill area, whilst raising participation, esteem and standards in apprenticeships and vocational training.

Tom Deane and James Baily compete at the WorldSkills UK heats

Sponsored and coordinated by Semta*, the selection tournament in Aeronautical Engineering, held at MOD Boscombe Down this year, is one of 77 different trade skills competitions that take place annually to establish the six best candidates for entry into the WorldSkills UK finals, held at the NEC in Birmingham each November. Covering sectors from Engineering to IT, the Arts to Professional Services, the competitions cover work roles from junior operative through to managerial, specialist and professional roles. Each competition requires competitors to complete a series of tasks to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have developed in their chosen field – skills that are essential to be successful in the workplace.

The QinetiQ Apprentice Training School at MOD Boscombe Down is part funded by the Ministry of Defence and four apprentices from it took part in the aeronautical (avionics and mechanical) competitions this year, competing alongside 30 other young aeronautical engineers from an array of other organisations. The competition tasks included a number of skills such as changing a rotary blade on an aircraft, metal work dexterity, electrical wiring skills and finding and fixing faults on aeronautical avionic equipment.

Head of the QinetiQ Apprentice Training School, Melanie Jackson, said; “We were delighted to be hosting the WorldSkills UK aeronautical selection tournament this year and again to have four of our own apprentices taking part. QinetiQ apprentices have historically done very well in WorldSkills UK, having picked up a range of medals throughout the last three years, and we are very proud of their achievements. At QinetiQ the expertise and skills of our people are vital. We recognise the importance of providing young people with the right skills and experiences to succeed, and how driving campaigns such as The 5% Club can help to achieve this. WorldSkills UK is a very valuable opportunity for apprentices to improve skills and confidence in a competitive environment and we are proud to be a part of it.”

Semta's UK Competitions & Careers Specialist, Joanne O’Brien, said; “Competition is the catalyst which produces excellence. Semta plays a pivotal role in propagating, nurturing and developing the next generation of highly skilled individuals which will lead our nation to prosperity in the years to come. We are delighted to be working with QinetiQ - who are world-class hosts in a world-class facility.”

Outstanding competitors, aged 18-25, who excel in WorldSkills UK competitions, will be invited to compete for a place in the ‘UK Squad’ team that represents the UK at the WorldSkills International biennial international skills competition. As a previous WorldSkills UK Gold Medal winner, QinetiQ’s Joe Hedley will soon compete for a place at WorldSkills International to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2015.

Notes for Editors

*About Semta
Led by employers, Semta aim to transform the skills and productivity of the people who power our engineering and advanced manufacturing technologies sectors, enabling UK industry to compete on the global stage. Semta bring together employers and education to focus action on skills.
For more information visit http://www.semta.org.uk/

About The 5% Club
Founded by QinetiQ, the 5% Club is a campaign to get the UK’s public and private companies to commit to raising the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formal programmes to 5% of their total workforce within the next five years. The aim of the campaign is to tackle both the chronic skills shortage and youth unemployment in Britain and help the country remain at the forefront of innovation.

About QinetiQ
A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its domain knowledge to provide technical support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ's unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organisations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments, intelligence services and security agencies.

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QinetiQ hosts WorldSkills UK selection tournament