Will was encouraged to enter the WorldSkills UK Mechatronics Competition at Toyota, a long-time partner of WorldSkills UK. He went to be selected to compete internationally as part of Team UK and represent the UK in the skill.
Will from Derby was inspired to go into technical education by his grandad:
“My grandad worked in a very hands-on job and he would talk about apprenticeships and ever since I was young, I enjoyed hands-on learning.”
Will went on to study at Burton and South Derbyshire College and work at Toyota Motor Manufacturing as a Mechatronics Engineer. It was at Toyota, a long-time partner of WorldSkills UK, that Will was encouraged to enter the WorldSkills UK Mechatronics Competition in 2018: “They value it very highly and see it as a big priority.”
He went on to compete in the 2018 National Finals held at WorldSkills UK LIVE, the UK’s largest careers and skills event, at the NEC Birmingham and won the coveted Gold Medal.
Will describes one of his favourite parts of competing as:
“The overwhelming feeling you get once you’ve finished, you know you’ve done everything you can and it’s paid off when you get that Gold Medal and first place.”
He also credits taking part in competitions as teaching him that “you’re a lot more capable than you think you are.”
When Will found out he’s been selected for Squad UK and was in the running to join Team UK in competing on the international stage he felt: “Relieved that all of the hard work had paid off. I was excited for the future and all the opportunities that had opened up for me.”
His favourite part of the Squad experience so far has been: “The continued learning and the advanced learning of our skill, which I can go back and put in place with my job. I enjoy getting a broader understanding of new technology.”
Will went on to be selected for Team UK, to compete at EuroSkills Graz in January alongside his teammate Josh. “When I heard the good news I was really excited for the future. I’m looking forward to travelling, meeting new people and competing at a really high level.”
He’s positive that competing on the world stage will help him with his work at Toyota:
“My job is very high pressure and competing helps you to think on your feet. It helps with getting us used to those high-pressure environments. As competitors we’re also encouraged to think of new ways of doing things and how to complete tasks even quicker.”
What are Will’s words of advice for anyone thinking of entering a WorldSkills UK Competition? “I would put as a high priority. It’s definitely a good opportunity and it’s a CV booster.”
EuroSkills Graz is currently postponed due to COVID-19.