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World class E


ECA training expert David Thomas is sharing his skill and experience as a WorldSkills Team UK training manager. Catherine Cooper reports on how he’s going for gold at the ‘Skills Olympics’


CA training manager David Thomas is coaching a young electrical installer to reach the top of his game, as the former apprentice gets ready to represent his trade and his country in the world’s


biggest skills competition. Christopher Young from Somerset who is employed by


Rogers Restorations Electrical in Highbridge, will compete for Britain at the 41st international WorldSkills event, in London this October. Informally known as the ‘Skills Olympics’, the competition pits 53 participating countries against each other across 46 different skills areas. The competitors are national teams of highly-trained young people who have gained a skill to work in the industrial trades and service sectors of the economy. Under Thomas’s supervision, Christopher Young has been preparing to take to the floor in live trials against other


The event is designed to be a unique exercise to compare national skill levels and styles


nations, to show what he can do as a UK-trained operative. Thomas’s knowledge and experience is lent in his voluntary role of squad and Team UK training manager – one of a team of dedicated industry experts who have been intensely preparing the young UK team for their participation in the event.


Raising standards Working within the ‘Electrical Installations’ category, Thomas has the task of identifying the best potential candidates from across the UK and then managing a training programme to bring them up to the international required standard. The starting point for the candidates in this category is typically to be a newly qualified electrician, just out of their apprenticeship. The event is designed to be a unique exercise to compare


national skill levels and styles – showcasing for each skill what is demonstrably the highest standard of trainee ability and workmanship in the world. The competitors show how the standard in their country measures up against other nations, with the hope of becoming the best in the world at their chosen skill. Thomas believes it is important to invest in the future of skills in the UK industry, and that to be competitive we


Christopher Young (left) and David Thomas (right) at Buckingham Palace


Christopher Young at work


54


ECA Today September 2011


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