Bradley is setting new records as he trains for EuroSkills Graz: the first apprentice from SMS Machine Automation to participate in WorldSkills UK Competitions, the first degree apprentice to make Team UK and the first UK entry into the Industry 4.0 competition. But he isn’t fazed and is very much focused on the challenge ahead.
When Bradley left school, he knew he wanted to study for A Levels, but he was less sure about his options when he turned 18. “I knew that I wanted to carry on studying engineering and whilst university interested me, I have always been better at practical learning” he explains. His teachers at UTC Sheffield discussed the benefits that a Degree Apprenticeship offered, and Bradley’s mind was made up.
Now in his third year of his Degree Apprenticeship, Bradley is an Apprentice Applications Engineer at SMS Machine Automation in Barnsley and he also attends the University of Sheffield where he receives regular learning support from his tutor. Bradley will graduate with a degree in engineering and no student debt whilst having developed valuable skills working for a business that’s well established in its industry, a situation Bradley believes is ‘win-win’ for him and his career.
Bradley was encouraged to take part in WorldSkills UK Competitions when he was studying at UTC Sheffield, reaching the National Finals at WorldSkills UK LIVE three times. Having competed in Automation and Mechatronics he then made the decision to switch to the new Industry 4.0 competition. Bradley explains his decision was based on his determination to continually develop his skill and as he explains:
“Industry 4.0 is transforming the way we work and being able to be at the forefront and learn new skills is incredibly exciting.”
Participation in this new competition at EuroSkills Graz is part of WorldSkills UK’s commitment to adapt its skills portfolio to reflect the priorities of the UK Government’s industrial strategy and Bradley says “it’s an honour to be the first apprentice, along with his team mate Kamil an apprentice at Toyota, to represent the UK in this skill.”
Covid has impacted on Bradley’s preparations for EuroSkills and he knows the next few months will be a lot of hard work, but he is more than ready for the challenge. “I’m looking forward to training with Kamil and Marcin, our Training Manager, we just need to get our heads down and focus” he says.
Watching his development with keen interest will be his colleagues at SMS Machine Automation, who encouraged him to continue competing when he started his degree apprenticeship. He explains:
“Everyone at work has been really supportive, and they can see how training with WorldSkills UK has helped me further my skills and knowledge which I know is helping me in my apprenticeship.”
EuroSkills Graz is currently postponed due to COVID-19.