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Submarines trio bid for World Skills honour

Steel workers Jack Ambrose, Mark Wilkinson and Tommy Richardson
Six of the best apprentice steelworkers in the UK are going head to head over the next few days competing for one place in the Metalwork section of the World Skills competition at Leipzig, Germany, next July – and three of the six are from Submarines.

Mark Wilkinson, Jack Ambrose and Tommy Richardson are flying the flag for BAE Systems, one of the prime sponsors of the World Skills UK Skills Show at the NEC, Birmingham, 15-17 November. Hopes are high after Mark finished top in the UK heats, Jack finished joint runner-up and Tommy placed fifth.

The trio gained official recognition for their achievement in the heats when Don Atkinson, from competition organiser the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, presented Mark with an iPad for winning the heat staged in the New Assembly Shop at Barrow shipyard in July.

Highest score in UK heats

Don praised Mark for gaining the highest score out of 27 competitors from heats across the UK; he also praised Jack and Tommy Richardson for their high scores. Don said: “I served my time as a welder at Swan Hunter and elsewhere, and it is fantastic to see how shipbuilding has moved on. You three lads will be competing at Birmingham for BAE Systems and yourselves, and hopefully one of you will represent the UK at Leipzig next year.”

Andy Payne, Head of Manufacturing, who attended the presentation, said: “Looking at what you three guys, and other apprentices, are doing, I get a lot of confidence in us, as a submarine builder, over the next 25 years, delivering a product that is safe and capable and that we can all be very proud of.”