Name: Rhys Watts
Skill: Electronics Prototyping
College: Gower College Swansea
Training provider: Gower College Swansea
Rhys, who works as an Apprentice Technician at Gower College Swansea, decided to do an apprenticeship as he prefers hands-on learning:
“In school, lessons were mainly theory-based but I learn a lot more doing practical tasks so an apprenticeship suited me well and I could also earn while I was learning.”
It was while working and studying at the college that Rhys heard about WorldSkills UK Competitions and he decided to enter the Industrial Electronics Competition. He went on to compete against the best electronics technicians in the UK and came second, being awarded a Silver Medal.
His favourite part about competing so far has been “Going to new places and being able to push myself a lot more than I thought I could. Also, I’ve enjoyed being in an environment where everyone is focussed on doing the best they can.”
Competing has also helped Rhys to develop both his technical and personal skills: “I’ve learnt a lot about myself, such as how much I can cope in certain situations where I thought I couldn’t with regards to pressure.”
When Rhys found out he’s been selected to join Squad UK, to undergo intensive skill set and mindset training that WorldSkills UK is renowned for and to be in the running to join Team UK in competing on the international stage, he felt “really proud.”
He was then chosen for Team UK to compete at EuroSkills Graz in January 2021.
“I was over the moon when I found out I’d made it onto Team UK. I’m looking forward to visiting places I never thought I’d go and having the support of people around me who believe in me and are willing to push me.”
Rhys is also confident that competing against his European peers will help to develop his skills even further: “My time management skills and my general subject skills are going to increase massively because of all the training I’m going to be doing.”
Rhys’ goals for the future are to “progress as much as I possibly can. I hope to get my NVQ by the end of this year and then push on to do higher education with a HNC (higher national certificate).”