WorldSkills UK Logo


Designed by industry experts, the competitions assess an individual’s knowledge, practical and employability skills against set criteria in a timed environment. The finalists could go on to represent the UK at the 'Skills Olympics' in France in 2024. This year WorldSkills UK will be held at regional centres, including Barking & Dagenham, Belfast Met, Blackpool & The Fylde, Cardiff & Vale, Edinburgh and Middlesbrough College.

BAE Systems is sponsoring the WorldSkills UK North-West competition at Blackpool and Fylde College.

Our apprentices work really hard and come from a wide range of backgrounds which influence their decision to take up apprenticeships. Going into a competition such as this has shown they can be anything they want to be as long as they put their mind to it. Tania Gandamihardja, Group Human Resources Director at BAE Systems


Flying the flag for BAE Systems

Seven BAE Systems apprentices have been chosen to compete work across our Air, Submarine and Electronic Systems sectors



Chloe, Finance Apprentice, BAE Systems Electronic Systems
Chloe is in the fourth year of the finance apprentice scheme. She joined BAE Systems straight from sixth form and whilst she had to adapt to studying the Chartered Institute for Management Accountants (CIMA) programme and working in a large organisation, she has thoroughly enjoyed all her placements. So far Chloe has learnt about overheads, cost estimating, pricing, financial planning and analytics.
Chloe says: 
“Despite applying for universities I couldn’t really see myself at Uni and my school encouraged me to apply for an apprenticeship. This apprenticeship in particular seemed like a win-win, as not only do you get a CIMA qualification you also get the on the job experience.
On reaching the WorldSkills finals, Chloe explains:
“I am looking forward to the finals, and am really pleased to be provided with this opportunity.
On taking part in the finals, Chloe says:
“I am looking forward to meeting new people, since starting my apprenticeship I have spent most my time working from home so really enjoying attending face to face events.”



Ethan, Machine Apprentice, BAE Systems Air
Ethan is a second year machine apprentice and decided he wanted to do an apprenticeship in engineering whilst at school. Having developed an interest in manufacturing and design whilst at sixth form, Ethan chose to apply for the BAE Systems craft apprenticeship programme as it gave him an opportunity to get valuable hands-on experience alongside his qualifications.
Ethan explains:
“At school, I spent quite a bit of time on the wood turning and metal turning lathes, as well as on a CNC router and CNC laser cutter. It was due to this, that I decided to become a machinist once I was on the apprenticeship as I enjoyed what I did on the machines and wanted to do that as opposed to the other choices such as fitting or electrical.
On reaching the WorldSkills finals, Ethan explains:
“I didn't really know whether I would get through the preliminary round. However, I thought that even if I didn't get through, I would at least have gained more knowledge from practicing for the preliminary.  I was excited when I got through, as I knew I would be able to take part in a national competition doing something I enjoyed.
On taking part in the finals, Ethan adds:
“I’m excited to take part in the competition, and I’m looking forward to being able to test my skills and knowledge in CNC milling, and seeing what more I’m able to learn leading up to and during the competition. I’m also looking forward to testing my skills and knowledge against other people my age and seeing the skills other people have got from working in different areas to me.”



Shaun, Construction Metal Work Apprentice, BAE Systems Submarines
Apprentice steelworker Shaun is in the third year of his apprenticeship, having joined BAE Systems in 2020. A resident of Barrow-in-Furness, Shaun chose an apprenticeship as it gave him the opportunity to pursue a career in an area that has always interested him whilst staying local with his family. It also gave Shaun the opportunity to gain job-specific training and valuable hands-on experience at the same time.
On participating in WorldSkills, Shaun explains:
“I feel that the competition has helped me build my confidence. I have gained a lot of experience, particularly in time management, and I have managed to refine my skills with the help from my skills coaches at BAE Systems. For the next stage of the competition, I'm most looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to learn new skills.”



George, Accountancy Apprentice, BAE Systems Air
After completing his A-levels, George joined BAE Systems in 2021 on an accountancy apprenticeship and has now completed his first two placements. chose an apprenticeship over a university pathway as he felt it would provide him with extensive work experience over the course of the five years, alongside gaining a Chartered Accountancy qualification.
On participating in WorldSkills, George explains:
“I’m really pleased to have reached the finals. I wasn’t expecting to progress this far in the competition having just started the apprenticeship and having never previously done accounting at GCSE or A Level. It’s sure to be a great experience outside of work, and it will be interesting to put my knowledge to the test in a live and pressured situation.”



Ella, Engineering Apprentice, BAE Systems Air
Ella realised she wanted to become an engineering apprentice after taking part in a STEM club hosted by BAE Systems as its Academy for Skills and Knowledge in Samlesbury. This gave her an insight into the company’s early careers programmes, and the opportunities available for the future.
Ella explains:
“The thought that I wouldn’t be stuck in one job for the rest of my life really appealed to me, and the ability to learn whilst on the job made me want to become an apprentice.”
Currently in the second year of her apprenticeship, Ella has gained an appreciation of engineering during the first year of her studies and got to try her hand at Computer Aided Designed (CAD) for the first time.
On being selected to participate in WorldSkills, Ella adds:
“This whole UK WorldSkills experience is a bit of a whirlwind. I really enjoyed my CAD module during my first year and discovered I wasn’t too bad at it! So, I applied for the CAD competition. It has been a great experience so far, and has made me more determined to do as well as possible. Getting through to the final eight in the country is quite an achievement and with that, there’s also a bit of pressure, mostly from myself. I’m really looking forward to the whole WorldSkills experience. Until now, all competitions have been virtual, so it will be nice to compete in person and meet other people in the competition.”



Tobias Jones, Engineering Apprentice, BAE Systems Air
Growing up in a family of engineers, Tobias got the bug for engineering from an early age, and developed a passion for 3D printing and Computer Aided Design (CAD). He got his first 3D printer whilst still at primary school, and went on to study computer science, design, and manufacturing at secondary school before studying engineering at sixth form. Tobias joined BAE Systems on an apprenticeship in January 2021, and is now on his third placement working in design with our Air sector.
Tobias says:
“I was attracted to the apprenticeship at BAE Systems because I have a passion for aircraft, and I wanted to experience the most advanced technologies. Also, as I grew up close to Warton and Blackpool Airport, I spent a large majority of my childhood going to the airports to watch the planes, and as BAE Systems is a local company, I grew up hearing about the many opportunities the company could provide.”
On participating in WorldSkills, Tobias explains:
“I feel honoured to have been selected as one of the national finalists, and it’s quite an accomplishment to place in the top eight competitors. I feel like the competition has provided me with the opportunity to further develop my skills in ways that are transferable to the field I want to work in. I’m also excited for the future opportunities that the competition may bring. I’m most looking forward to getting to compete in the UK finals and potentially as a member of the UK Squad. I’m also looking forward to meeting the other competitors and being able to learn from them and develop my skills even further.”



Adam Leech, Finance Apprentice, BAE Systems Air
Adam started his Finance Apprenticeship in January 2021, and is now in on his fourth placement within the company’s Air sector.
Adam explains:
“BAE Systems is well known for its apprenticeship programmes. I applied for an apprenticeship as it leads to full chartered accountant qualifications and gives me a springboard to more senior roles in the finance function upon completion.”
On being selected for WorldSkills, Adam explains:
“It’s great to be selected for the national final, having gone through two rounds of qualifiers. The second round was particularly tough with some more complex accounting tasks under very tight time pressure. I’m looking forward to representing BAE Systems, showing that, as a company, we not only have some of the best engineers in the country but also a world class finance function. And, of course, being very competitive, I’m looking forward to challenge and hopefully coming out on top.”
We are really excited to be taking the show on the road again this year with finals hosted by colleges across the UK. We hope seeing the finals in person or catching up with our online content will inspire more young people to develop their skills and have a go at one of our competitions next year. Ben Blackledge, Deputy CEO of WorldSkills UK