A flying start

The 2016 SkillElectric heats have got off to a flying start with three talented electricians taking top spots around England and Wales.


After scoring most highly in a challenging five-hour mock installation that tested the full range of their electrical abilities, the winners were named as:

•    English Midlands – Ben Brookes, 24, Stoke on Trent College/Hanning 

•    Wales – Garin Long, 19, Coleg Gwent/CTE Electrical

•    Southern England – Michael Pemberton, 22, Petroc Tiverton Campus

Once all regional heats have been completed, the highest scoring competitors from across the UK will go forward to the grand final at The Skills Show, being held 16-19 November at the Birmingham NEC. At the event, competitors will face a gruelling three-day task in the quest to be named SkillElectric UK champion.

Iain Macdonald, CEO of industry charity NET, WorldSkills 2016 Competition Partner, said: “SkillElectric provides an opportunity for the best in our industry to showcase their abilities and the level of skill and technical excellence required to work as an electrician. This is hugely important at a time when the industry is in need of new blood, and more young people are considering the vocational route when they leave school. Ben, Garin and Michael have done brilliantly to win their regional heats – and I wish them all the best for their future careers.”

Speaking on behalf of WorldSkills UK Competitions, Dr Neil Bentley said: “I offer my congratulations to Ben, Garin and Michael and wish them the best of luck.

“WorldSkills UK Competitions are proven to enhance a person’s apprenticeship or training programme by enabling them to develop key character and employability skills.  By using knowledge gained from competing nationally and internationally, we know we are working to benchmarks that will equip more young people with the right skills to help UK businesses better compete globally.”

Steve Brawley, CEO of the Joint Industry Board (JIB), who are the premium sponsor for SkillElectric 2016, said: “The JIB administers the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) which accredits electricians who achieve the industry standard through their qualifications and experience. Every SkillElectric their performance and look forward to welcoming them as gold card Electricians.”

SkillElectric is organised by WorldSkills and NET. Competitors at the UK final have a chance to go forward and represent their country at the biennial WorldSkills event – the world’s largest skills competition. The next event takes place in 2019 in Kazan, where one of the previous SkillElectric finalists will be representing the UK electrical industry.

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