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Wales’ best electrician is named

Daniel Hughes from Tata Steel Strip Products UK has scooped the top prize in a quest to find Wales’ best electrician.

SkillELECTRIC Wales winner Daniel Hughes receives his trophy from Vice Principal of Gower College Kay Morgan and Mark Bradley from the Welsh Government

Eighteen-year-old Hughes from Neath, a student at Bridgend College, battled it out with other finalists from across the country to be named winner of the SkillELECTRIC competition, part of Skills Competition Wales, which took place at Gower College in Swansea.

Second place went to 18-year-old Ryan Swannick from Oswestry, employed by Lloyds Animal Feeds and a student at Yale College in Wrexham. In third place was 20-year-old Ryan Draisey from Swansea who studies at Neath Port Talbot College and is employed by the City and County of Swansea.

The SkillELECTRIC competition is run by SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering, including the electrotechnical industry. Backed by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund, SkillELECTRIC promotes the importance of developing a highly skilled workforce. The highest-scoring competitors from Wales and all of the regional heats will compete in the UK-wide finals of SkillELECTRIC which will take place at The Skills Show in November at the NEC in Birmingham.

Daniel Hughes said: “I’ve met some good people through this competition, which was actually more of a challenge than most of us thought it would be. The time limit really puts you under pressure and the competition task was a tricky one, but I did my best to put into practice what I’ve learned and was pleased with what I did. My employer, Tata Steel Strip Products UK, has been really supportive and my trainers at Bridgend College did a good job in preparing me, so both of them deserve some of the credit for this.”

Contestants had six hours to install a PVC conduit and trunking installation with three circuits feeding light points and power sockets. Their work had to be completed within the time limit, safely and to recognised industry standards, with a very small tolerance for any errors.

Skills Competitions Wales aims to find Wales’ most talented trainees across a wide range of skills, including fields such as electrotechnical, automotive engineering, aerospace, constructions skills, catering, accountancy, media, and information technology. It involves colleges, Sector Skills Councils and training providers holding competitions across Wales.

Skills Competition Wales offers learners the chance to test, benchmark and raise their skill levels and provides competition experience for those who enter and subsequently progress onto the UK-wide competitions. For employers, competitions not only help drive-up the quality of apprenticeships and vocational education, but also motivate employees to achieve success.

These competitions are the feeder route for competitors to potentially represent their country at the biennial WorldSkills competition, the world’s largest skills competition. The next WorldSkills event takes place at Leipzig in German in July 2013.

The Welsh Government is encouraging businesses and skills providers in Wales to get involved, promote and support Skills Competition Wales and WorldSkills competitions.

Jeff Cuthbert, Deputy Minister for Skills, said: “I congratulate Daniel on his success. These competitions provide an excellent opportunity to stretch the abilities of up and coming skilled workers from many important sectors of the economy and encourage them to benchmark their skills against others in Wales and possibly UK or international competitors. It is vital that our workforce has the very highest skills and we continue to strive for excellence across all sectors to ensure Wales can compete on the international stage.”

Caption: SkillELECTRIC Wales winner Daniel Hughes receives his trophy from Vice Principal of Gower College Kay Morgan and Mark Bradley from the Welsh Government

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