The CREATE Education Project and 3DGBIRE have partnered with WorldSkills UK to launch a new Additive Manufacturing Competition, aimed at post-16 students in education and training.

Steve Taylor, CREATE Ambassador and 3DGBIRE employee, explains the competition will test young people’s 3D Design, 3D printing, and 3D scanning skills and is sponsored by two of the biggest names in the Additive Manufacturing industry: UltiMaker and Shining 3D:

The additive manufacturing sector is rapidly growing and is estimated to reach 76 Billion US Dollars by 2030. Yet, industry experts report that nearly half of businesses are experiencing internal gaps in skilled labour. At CREATE Education Project and 3DGBIRE we want to support the next generation of additive experts in developing high quality skills, helping to make this industry grow even faster, while contributing to the future of sustainable manufacturing.

WorldSkills UK competition-based training programmes are proven to enhance a young person’s learning and development. The competitions focus on capacity-building in core skills valued by employers including technical skills, problem-solving, time-management and working under pressure. We knew this would make a perfect fit with our core values at CREATE Education Project and 3DGBIRE and by working together we can ensure we are continuing to raise the profile of a career in Additive Manufacturing among young people and the education sector

We are also thrilled that two of our key partners, UltiMaker and Shining 3D are sponsoring the competition this year too. This shows they share our belief in supporting young people in developing these critical skills for the future. 

The Additive Manufacturing Competition launched in February of this year, and we were all bowled over with the number of registrations. In total, nearly 90 young people, from colleges and apprenticeship providers from all over the UK signed up to take part. We knew that there was a need for this competition, but the support we have had from young people and their tutors has been amazing. At Create Education we pride ourselves on having strong relationships with our education partners and this really shone through in the number of organisations that have signed up.

With such a large number of applications, students were asked to take part in an online entrance skills test. The skills test consisted of timed questions relating to additive manufacturing, alongside a series of short design tasks using Autodesk Fusion360 design software.

The students taking part in this round of the competition produced amazing results. The average score was 78.76%, showing that the young people have some great industry ready skills for the future.

From the entrance test stage, 32 students were invited to take part in three National WorldSkills UK Qualifiers to be held in June 2023 and hosted by our network at:

At the National Qualifiers, students will be set a design and 3D printing task to complete, using an UltiMaker 3D Printer. I have also designed and delivered a series of short webinars which I will deliver at each stage of the competition ensuring that everyone who participates has the opportunity to develop their skills further.

The top eight competitors from the National Qualifiers will be invited to take part in the WorldSkills UK National Finals to be held in Manchester. The University of Salford will host our final and we will be introducing 3D scanning to stretch the competitors. All finalists will have a skills builder session before the competition to help them hone their skills.

We wish all those taking part in the Additive Manufacturing Competition, the very best of luck.

How can young people acquire the world-class skills the UK needs to become a global leader in Advanced Manufacturing? Read the Manufacturing Excellence report commissioned by WorldSkills UK in partnership with BAE Systems.

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