To help encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), global engineering company, Renishaw, sponsored both the WorldSkills competition and the Education and Development zone at MACH 2022, the UK’s national exhibition for the manufacturing and engineering industry. The event took place at the NEC, Birmingham, and as part of its sponsorship, Renishaw provided equipment for the WorldSkills competition which ran during the show.
Throughout the event from April 4th to 8th, finalists from the WorldSkills UK and European squads completed pressure tests and timed activities to showcase their design and machining skills. As a sponsor, Renishaw provided spindle probes and tool setting probes for the 500 LR vertical machining centres loaned by XYZ Machine Tools. Over the three days of MACH, the finalists were given drawings for three parts that they had to interpret and convert into a CAD model. They then had to program machines and manufacture the part, including probing routines, to meet set tolerances. The competitors were scored depending on how close the part was to tolerance, as well as meeting other judgement criteria, such as finishing the part to an industry standard or higher.
“Running a friendly competition at MACH 2022 gave participants a chance to test how well they work under pressure ahead of the WorldSkills final in October,” explained Michael Watson, UK Training Manager at WorldSkills and CNC Programmer at GKN Aerospace. “As well as getting the competitors out of their comfort zone and used to people watching them, holding a competition in the Education and Development zone gave us the chance to help visitors gain an understanding of what we do and encourage them to enter and diversify the competition further. ”
“I was first introduced to WorldSkills when I went to the live event in 2018 with my company BAE Systems,” explained Abigail Stansfield, a member of the WorldSkills UK Squad. “After that event I decided to enter and was selected to compete in the national competition, where I took third position, something I was really proud of. After the friendly competition at MACH I’m hopeful that I’ll be selected to compete in the global competition in Shanghai.”
Abigail continued, “I’d recommend taking part in WorldSkills to anyone in the engineering industry. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, you’re probably better than you think,” added Stansfield. “That was definitely the case for me! Entering a competition such as WorldSkills can highlight your skills and potential to yourself, the company and the rest of the UK, so go for it!”
WorldSkills is an independent charity that supports young people across the world in competition-based training. WorldSkills UK hosts competitions in over 50 disciplines, including engineering and construction, to help young people in these industries develop their skills.
As well as supporting initiatives such as WorldSkills and the MACH Education and Development zone, Renishaw runs an extensive education outreach programme to encourage students to pursue engineering and science-based careers. For further information, visit www.renishaw.com/en/education-outreach–34713.