Image of stand at World Skills LIVE 2018
The event is held at the NEC, Birmingham and showcases skills in Construction & Infrastructure, Health, Hospitality & Lifestyle, Digital, Business & Creative and Engineering & Technology.
Jack Bateman, Tobias Proctor, Rebecca Sell, Abigail Stansfield from BAE Systems Air and and Thomas Tyson from BAE Systems Submarines are competing against other apprentices for prestigious places on the squad that will represent the UK and challenge other nations for the top prizes at the WorldSkills Final in Kazan, Russia in August 2019. 

We talked to our team to find out more about their experience so far.

Tobias Proctor is competing in the Mechanical Engineering CAD competition.
He said: 'When I first heard about World Skills UK on BBC news a few years ago I never thought I could make it to this stage. I have learnt that with hard work and determination to improve you can really do anything you put your mind to. Apart from improving my personal skills I have built on my understanding of engineering drawings and utilising CAD packages to get the most possible out of them. Outside of the competition I have improved my approach to coming up with concept designs which competing in WorldSkills and working on my CAD skills has supported.' 

Jack Bateson, a third year technician is also competing in the Mechanical Engineering CAD.
Jack added: 'I have learned that success is not an accident it takes time and commitment. I am still new to my journey but have already gone so far, not just in CAD but in my personal development.'
Abigail Stansfield, from Clitheroe in Lancashire is currently in the third year of the Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship at Warton. She is competing in the UK Worldskills National Final in CNC Milling.
Abigail said: 'I have learnt so much during my time and have been able to learn different aspects of engineering, including machining, fitting, electrical and toolmaking, which is what I have chosen to specialise in. I enjoy working in the Toolroom, as I have a great variety in my tasks, I feel welcome amongst my colleagues and the work is mentally challenging which I thrive on. I have got so much out of my apprenticeship already; I have made so many friends and like to get involved as much as possible. I take every opportunity offered, such as this competition, and learning different aspects on the business. It’s so easy to feel that you might not be good enough to be an engineer or that you wouldn’t stand a chance of getting into an apprenticeship like this. I’d say to anyone who is interested to just go for it: if you don’t try, you don’t know!

Rebecca Sell, an NC Programmer at Samlesbury is also competing in CNC Milling.
Rebecca said: I see the competition as a great opportunity to meet new people and to grow my professional network and develop my skills in Engineering. Getting through to the national final has been a great achievement, although challenging at times it has only made me more determined to work harder. 
I have been able to further my skills in NC Programming, Machining and I have learned a new software called Mastercam. I have then been able to transfer the knowledge back into my current role. I began this journey as a machining apprentice, but from work in placements and in the competition, I realised that I would like to pursue bNC Programming as a career.

WorldSkills UK Live 15-17 November is open to the public - see for more information and to book your tickets. In addition to viewing the competitors hard at work the event also hosts careers advice and talks, 'have a go' activities and exhibitions from 130 different employers including BAE Systems, BMW, IBM and Royal Mail.

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Andrew McDowell
Head of Media, UK

+44 (0) 7801 717739