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Coleg Menai hosts Lyon 2024 WorldSkills selection event

Seven young engineers are competing to represent the UK in this year’s global final - including the college’s own Eva Voma

Coleg Menai recently hosted the first Additive Manufacturing UK selection event for the WorldSkills 2024 final in Lyon.

Seven finalists from last year’s WorldSkills UK competition attended the college’s Energy Centre in Llangefni, where lecturers Bryn Jones and Iwan Roberts put their engineering skills to their test.

Bryn and Iwan were recently appointed as WorldSkills UK training managers for the additive manufacturing category. They will oversee several selection events which will ultimately see one competitor chosen to represent the UK in September’s global final.

Over two days in Llangefni, they gave competitors 12 computer-aided design tasks, including speed and reverse engineering tests, using Autodesk’s Fusion 360 software. WorldSkills UK staff also monitored competitors’ soft skills such as focus, time management, planning and adaptability.

Among those hoping to make it to France is Eva Voma, formerly a Coleg Menai student and now an engineering lecturer at the Llangefni campus.

Eva, who earned bronze in additive manufacturing in last year’s UK final, said: “The tasks were definitely a step up from the previous level and challenged us. It revealed where I am strong and where I need sharpening.

“Bryn, Iwan and the college facilities have been a great support. We were definitely being prepared for what the international stage is like - even the sounds/distractions were simulated for us during the competition!”

Eva was joined at the selection event by four competitors from UTC Sheffield, one from University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and one from Midlands Technical College.

The UTC Sheffield students were accompanied by their electrical engineering teacher Mark Rigby.

He said: “The students have found it demanding and challenging, which it should be, but they have the support from WorldSkills UK, from UTC Sheffield and from Bryn and Iwan here at the college, and it’s a fantastic opportunity for them.

“The chance to represent the UK in the WorldSkills final is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it could be life-changing.”

Asked what he thought of Coleg Menai’s Energy Centre, which is home to a 1m3 3D printer recently donated by Autodesk, Mark said: “The facilities here are absolutely fantastic. They’re preparing students for their careers and the next stage of life.”

While Iwan and Bryn tested the competitors’ technical skills, the squad were also being monitored by Chris Herron, International Development Manager for WorldSkills UK, and Lyle Kirkham, a performance psychologist with WorldSkills UK’s performance and wellbeing team.

Lyle said: “When you go onto that world stage it’s almost like an Olympic Games where you’ve got the best talent to go out there and deliver those skills.

“Some of the characteristics we look at are focus, time management, organisation, planning, the ability to adapt and react to different situations. There's so much that can happen, these competitors have to be willing to throw the plan out of the window after the first five minutes.

“Our role within WorldSkills UK is to support them, to guide them, to listen to them as well. We have to understand what demands they’re facing and be able to give them the support and the necessary skills to manage that as well.”

Chris said: “WorldSkills is the largest vocational skills competition in the world, attracting around 200,000 visitors. There will be more than 1,500 competitors from more than 80 countries, competing across more than 50 skills.

“The purpose of this selection event is for us to choose our strongest three to four competitors who will move on to the next stage, where they will receive further training with WorldSkills UK, with a view to being selected to represent Team UK at WorldSkills Lyon 2024.”

He added: “Everyone seems really committed and focused. The college has been really open and welcoming, and it’s been great to meet everyone.

“It’s the first time I’ve been here myself, and we’re really impressed with the excellent facilities and grateful of the support we’re receiving from the college.”

For more information on WorldSkills UK, visit

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