Skills Competition success for Construction and Metalwork learner from Connah’s Quay
A 22 year-old from Connah’s Quay has won gold in the Construction Metalwork final of a national skills competition.
Skills Competitions Wales is a Welsh Government-backed series of events designed to celebrate vocational skills and create a highly skilled Welsh workforce for the future.
With Olympic athletes training hard for the imminent games in Rio, Maciej Porzuczek is just one of 78 Welsh youngsters who have been perfecting their skills in a bid to win a medal. Across a range of vocations from graphic design to patisserie, these budding skilled champions, like Olympians, may go on to challenge competitors from other nations.
Maciej, from Coleg Cambria, competed against two other students from across Wales. Finalists completed a series of construction and metalwork challenges within an eight hour time period, which included testing their fabrication skills by making a trestle table frame and completing a theory test.
Maciej, who is currently undertaking an apprenticeship at GJ Maintenance Engineering, is also studying for a level two certificate and diploma in engineering as well as a level two NVQ diploma in performing engineering operations.
Maciej said “I’m really pleased I won the competition and I hope I can go further to compete in the next round. I practiced with my tutors at college who were the ones who had encouraged me to enter. We had to make a frame for a table and although it was something I’d done lots of times before at work, doing it in eight hours was a challenge!
“I’d really like to work on an oil rig as an engineer and testing my skills in this competition as well as my apprenticeship are helping me get closer to my dream. I’ve always been interested in construction and I find it really satisfying to see a simple drawing come to life. I’ve worked on a range of different projects from building containers and bridges to shelving units in office blocks.”
Skills Competition Wales forms part of the Welsh Government’s Growth and Sustainable Jobs Programme, designed to promote the importance of vocational skills with the aim of boosting the overall skill capabilities and prosperity of Wales.
Supported by the European Social Fund, the Welsh Government is funding a total of 33 Skills Competitions in 2016 in a range of sectors, from welding and brickwork to popular music and web design.
Maciej may go forward to represent Coleg Cambria in the Construction and Metalwork WorldSkills UK heat, with the aim of potentially representing Team Wales at this year’s Skills Show in Birmingham in November.
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James AM said:
“Year on year the level of talent at Skills Competition Wales keeps on improving. These events encourage healthy competition and are a great way of recognising the fantastic talent that we have in our country.
“Dozens of colleges, Sector Skills Councils and work-based learning providers across Wales are already involved in the Skills Competition Wales initiative and have played a huge part in organising the heats and finals, but we’re keen to see more Welsh businesses support their talented young employees and encourage them to enter.”
The Deputy Minister added: “It takes a lot of hard work to get to the final round but to win gold is a fantastic achievement. It is clear that all the competitors are extremely passionate and determined to be named the best in Wales.
“We wish Maciej and all the other finalists and winners the very best of luck, not only in the next round of the competitions, but also in their future careers.”