GCS apprentice has Russia in his sights

Updated 27/11/2017

An apprentice from Gower College Swansea has become the first Welsh student to make the Worldskills UK Squad in the sector of Industrial Electronics.

James Williams, who works at Haven Automation in Fforestfach, will now undergo two years of intensive specialist training which could take him all the way to the Worldskills World Finals in Kazan, Russia, in 2019.

“We are absolutely delighted for James, he has worked incredibly hard and is poised to be the first to represent Wales in his industry sector, which is a massive honour,” says Curriculum Leader for Digital Technology Steve Williams.

“Haven is a manufacturer and distributor of process instrumentation as well as being a UKAS accredited laboratory for electrical, pressure and temperature equipment," adds Managing Director Kate Jones. "We are thrilled to be involved in aiding James’ development, as his skills are tailor-made for our type of industry. We are confident James will be an excellent candidate to represent Wales and will be a strong competitor in Russia.” 

James’ success is the latest in a long line of achievements for the Digital Technology team who have just returned from the NEC in Birmingham where student Michael Jones achieved a Bronze medal at the Worldskills National Finals.

Michael, who studied a Level 3 Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology at the Tycoch campus before progressing to Swansea University, successfully completed four tasks over two days, working very long hours to meet the allotted deadlines.

Meanwhile, four other students – Matthew Sarsfield, Lyn Ball, Jordan Thomas and Beck Robert – hosted a hugely successful showcase at the NEC where they encouraged visitors to try out the interactive go-kart they had constructed, which becomes a fantastic racing simulator when hooked up to a PlayStation.

“The footfall at their stand was quite remarkable,” adds Steve, who worked alongside lecturers Brian Lewis and Clive Monks to support the students through every stage of the Worldskills process. “At one stage they had people queuing to see the go-kart and to talk to them and some even came back a second time. What an excellent experience and confidence booster for them!”