Top apprentices compete at event

Some of the apprentices who took part in the craft competition.
Some of the apprentices who took part in the craft competition.

The Scottish IMechE Engineering Craft Competition is an annual event that brings together the best mechanical and electrical engineering apprentices in Scotland.

This year’s event - held on Thursday, June 18, and hosted by Peterhead Engineers Development Limited (PEDL) in Aberdeenshire - was no exception; with 20 of the top engineering trainees from 12 colleges and apprentice training centres throughout Scotland battling it out to win one of two coveted titles.

The competition, sponsored by Score Group plc and independent engineering society The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has been running for over 25 years and is open to every EAL (Excellence, Achievement & Learning Limited, the awarding organisation for the engineering, manufacturing and building sectors) approved training centre in the country.

Each entrant is specially selected by their college or training centre to take part in the competition which tests the knowledge and skills that are gained during completion of the PEO (Performing Engineering Operations) Level 2 qualification.

At a pre-competition dinner entrants were told by Conrad Ritchie, managing director of Score (Europe) Limited, part of the Group funding the contest :“You are already winners having been selected to be here, you are all role models and you should be very proud of your achievements to date.”

This year saw competitors travelling from as far afield as DSRL Dounreay (Thurso) in the north and Border Engineering Training Association (Melrose) in the south.

Trainees completed a series of on-the-day practical and written tests, each opting to specialise in two chosen disciplines; vertical or CNC milling, centre lathe turning, bench fitting, electrical wiring or electronics.

All tests will now be marked and independently verified to determine which trainees will be awarded the esteemed first and second placed prizes for both the Mechanical and Electrical categories. Score Group plc will host an awards ceremony for the winners and representatives of their employers/training centres later on this year.

Caroline Milne, Operations Director at PEDL said: “PEDL embraced the opportunity to host such an exceptional competition, showcasing the very best of Scotland’s young engineering faculty.

“The level of craft skill and knowledge demonstrated by the apprentices was testimony to the excellent training that is being delivered by the respective training providers.

“Modern Apprenticeships delivered in partnership between Skills Development Scotland (SDS), employers and training providers are a clear demonstration of the commitment to growing and supporting young talent in all areas of the United Kingdom.”

The competition remains the toughest title in Scotland for first year engineering apprentices to win.