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Apprentice engineers set for skills competition challenge

Charlotte Hall and Shaheed Khattak are representing Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet) at the World Skills UK National Finals. They will compete over three days in front of over 75,000 people at The Skills Show, which takes place from 19 to 21 November at the NEC Birmingham.

Charlotte, a second year customer service engineer apprentice at Siemens Healthcare Limited and Shaheed, a multi-skilled engineering apprentice at Mondelez International are taking part in the Industrial Control Advanced Level category of the competition. Their challenge will be to set up a communication and control system using programming apparatus including a human machine interface (HMI), programmable logic controller (PLC) system and laptop. They will face seven other teams from around the UK for the chance to win gold, silver or bronze medals.

“We’ve been preparing for the competition for a few months now and are looking forward to it,” said 20-year-old Shaheed from Small Heath. “It’s a chance to see where I stand with my understanding and execution of industrial control procedures. The competition tasks are similar to my day-to- day role, but I’ll be using a different PLC system so it’s not going to be a straightforward task.

“Charlotte and I will bring different knowledge and experiences to the competition because of our different work backgrounds. Hopefully this will be a strong advantage and we’ll do well.”

19-year-old Charlotte from Cannock added: “The competition is about having a good knowledge base and being able to think for yourself so you can problem solve. I have been in the competition before, but it gets harder each year because the software is different and you have to prove you can identify faults and remove system errors. I’m excited to be taking part again.”

WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions, part of Find a Future, inspire young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level. Through competition activity, the UK is able to share best practice in Apprenticeships and vocational teaching, raising standards across the nation.

If successful in the WorldSkills UK Skills Competition Finals, Charlotte and Shaheed could be named in Squad UK for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.

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