Festo apprentices John Hedges & Connor Bing have been selected as members of the Squad UK Pool as part of the selection process for the team to represent the UK at the 43rd WorldSkills competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil in August 2015.
Being part of the Squad UK pool will enable them to take part in further specialist training and general preparation leading to the final selection of Team UK to compete in the WorldSkills competition in Brazil. The WorldSkills competition will take place over four days, with over 800 competitors from 50 different countries competing in 45 different skills.
John & Connor represented Festo GB in the Mechatronic sector at the World Skills UK competition back in November 2013 and won silver medals. Being selected for the Squad UK pool is a great reflection of their hard work and enthusiasm as well as the training and support they have received.
WorldSkills UK champions and drives excellence in workplace skills through competition. They encourage local competitions, support regional competitions, host the flagship national competition ‘The Skills Show’ and prepare outstanding competitors for global competition. The organisation aims to stimulate ambition and aspiration in young people, prove how expert skills generate a more productive workforce and demonstrate our nation’s exceptional talent on the global stage.
Festo, like many other growing SMEs in manufacturing and engineering finds it difficult to attract the right new talent. Its strategy to attract young people to Festo, and engineering in general, is multi-faceted:- to work with schools, colleges and universities; engage with young people at career shows; to nurture apprentices, providing them with the essential technical and design skills for a career in engineering; to provide graduate opportunities and to equip managers with the right skills to get the best out of apprentices and encourage them into engineering and manufacturing careers.
10% of Festo’s UK staff are STEM Ambassadors, volunteers committed to raising engagement within the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. They work closely with schools and colleges in the area to raise awareness of the practical application of STEM subjects in the workplace.
Festo works with two apprentices a year from Tresham College and provides a structured programme for their learning while at the company. Festo’s sister company Festo Training and Consulting also provides support to other manufacturing and engineering firms with apprenticeship schemes, to help equip their apprentices with the technical and design skills often lacking in young people as they enter the engineering workplace.