College Engineering apprentices succeed at WorldSkills UK

Engineering apprentices bring home WorldSkills medals after designing and building an electric wheelchair from scratch.

Ricoh apprentices earned bronze medals at the world skills competition by building a wheelchair from scratch
Ricoh apprentices earned bronze medals at the world skills competition by building a wheelchair from scratch

A team of Ricoh Engineering apprentices competed in the WorldSkills UK National finals that took place at Birmingham NEC. The team of three took part in the ‘Manufacturing Team Challenge’ and had to build an electric wheelchair that they had designed and tested in their spare time. 

This was the first time that Shrewsbury Colleges Group had had Engineering apprentices at the three-day event.

The Ricoh team – which was made up of Belinda Nightingale, from Telford, Chloe Millington, from Bridgnorth and Tom Mills, from Shrewsbury, all 19 – earnt themselves the bronze medal.

Andrew Lee, Engineering Course Leader said: “This experience was both exciting and a bit stressful for everyone involved – but overall an amazing encounter for our apprentices. Shrewsbury Colleges Group is proud of the apprentices that took part and all the hard-work they put in. Taking part in WorldSkills competitions allows our students and apprentices to demonstrate all the skills that they have learnt and showcase the high levels of their abilities. It is a great event to be involved in and I am so pleased that, as a college, we give them the opportunities to take part.”

Judge’s commented that the Ricoh team had an aesthetically pleasing design and were quoted saying: “A brilliant team that worked together extremely well. All appeared to know their jobs and timings and they worked effectively to them.”

Belinda, Chloe and Tom said: “We are proud of our achievements in the competition. The first day was a challenge, but by the second day we realised that we could cope and work well together. It was a great experience that has really improved our learning.”

Claire Shepherd, Learning and Development Officer at Ricoh said: “This is a huge achievement and well deserved! It is the first time Ricoh have entered a team at WorldSkills and the achievement is a testament to all the hard work that Belinda, Chloe and Tom have put in. We are a very proud organisation and the apprentices have received excellent feedback from Ricoh employees at all levels. This success is a step in the right direction for the company to build on competition possibilities for the future.”

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