26 students from University College Isle of Man’s (UCM) engineering department put their milling and turning talents to the test at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) this week.
Skills Test is an annual event which offers students an opportunity to not only demonstrate their trade talents, but also to celebrate and recognise the complexities of vocational qualifications.
This year, the spotlight was on first- and second-year students from the engineering department, who displayed the intricacies required in their creative process; both physically and theoretically.
John Cashin, Engineering Assistant Programme Manager, explained, “The engineering skills test is designed to challenge students to understand drawings and plan for an effective and efficient manufacture of a component, within a restricted time. Competitors are observed by judges and representatives from local industries, so it is a great opportunity for students to show off their skills to potential employers”.
Students competed in two areas: manual milling/turning and CNC turning/milling. Turning and milling are two common machining processes in the manufacturing industry which remove material from a component using various types and styles of cutter. The difference between the two process is that with milling, the work is stationary and the cutter rotates while the opposite with turning; nonetheless both processes produce very complex components.
Now in its third year, Engineering Skills Test is an occasion which welcomes family, friends and members of the public, to support those pursuing vocational qualifications, and discover more about this area of study.
(Mrs) Jo Pretty, Principal of UCM, commented, “Skills training is very important for the Island’s economy and the annual Skills Test gives students and apprentices the opportunity to demonstrate their strengths and build their confidence in pressured and time constrained environments. This year they have really risen to the challenge. It is great to work closely with employers on our programme content and to have their engagement and support in this event”.
Cash prizes for this year’s event, have been kindly donated by local engineering and manufacturing businesses: Swagelok, Strix Technology, Triumph Integrated Systems, Target Tools and RLC-Ronaldsway.
Winners of this year’s competition are as below:
- Best Overall Student: Thomas Young
- First place - Turning: Byron Mckellar
- First place - Milling: Stephanie Christian
- First place - CNC Milling: Jacob Leece
- First place - CNC Turning: Josh Blackburn
Skills Test 2021 winners with UCM and industry representatives (left to right) Dave Hester, MD of Swagelok; John Cashin, Deputy Prog. Manager Engineering Department at UCM; Jo Pretty, Principal, UCM; Aaron Thompson, Workshop Supervisor, Strix; Simon Cowell, Validation Manager, Strix.
Jo Pretty, Principal of UCM and His Excellency, Lieutenant Governor talking to Skills Test competitor, Bliss Murtagh.