World Skills UK Milling competition raises standards and boosts skills of students
UK — With the pandemic, World Skills UK has had to be creative in staging the UK National Finals for over 60 different competitions involving more than 400 young students.
As a member of World Skills — a movement of over 80 countries — World Skills UK gains global insights to help raise standards in milling across the UK. Through sharing international best practice, World Skills UK helps deliver high-quality training and assessment and boosts the skills of educators and students. Competition categories include Automation, Bricklaying, Forensic Science as well as CNC Milling with the aim of finding the best apprentices in each of the over 60 disciplines.
Additionally, it provides careers advice and aims to inspire young people in their chosen career path. Initiatives include its Volunteer Leader programme, where volunteers, who are generally previous competitors, help young people explore different career opportunities, and Spotlight Talks, where industry stars explain what it is like to work in their industry and the routes available into their industry.
For the CNC Milling National Finals, DMG Mori supplied two of its M1 machining centres as well as training before the event to familiarise the contestants with the machine and the Siemens control. Also supporting the event were Jemtech, Mitutoyo, Quickgrind, Gewefa, Mastercam and GKN, supplying coolant, tools and fixtures, CAM software and metrology equipment.
The competition standards are very high, with tolerances of ±10 microns demanded together with a surface finish free from scratch and vibration marks and properly chamfered. To complete the task, competitors need to programme the part from the supplied drawing, set all the tool lengths and offsets, set the vice, cut the part and gauge it on the machine, all within a limited time.
One of the competitors, Nathan Moore is studying at Coleg Cambria, which has just undergone a £ 8.5 million investment, which includes a new state of the art Engineering Technology Centre and is employed by the Ardagh Group, which employs 16,000 people across twelve countries and has manufacturing facilities in Deeside and Wrexham. Nathan says, “My tutor at the college put me forward for the competition and I am getting full support from my employer. The competition has taken a lot of commitment and hours of work, but I can see the benefits it will bring to my career in the future.” Nathan went on to be highly commended in the competition. One of his colleagues at the Ardagh Group, Samuel Lewis, achieved a silver award in the UK CNC Milling event, with gold going to Sion Murray who is employed by FSG Tool and Die and is studying at University of Wales Trinity Saint David.