FSG Tool and Die engineering apprentice, Sion Murray, scoops gold at the WorldSkills UK final, a bi-annual 'skills Olympics’.
- Sion is employed by FSG Tool and Die, working towards his engineering apprenticeship with TSW Training Apprenticeships, and entered into the competition by University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
- Sion competed in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) category at the WorldSkills UK competition along with two fellow FSG apprentices, Kodie Higgins and Will Holmes.
- Earlier this year, Sion won Silver in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling category at Skills Competition Wales
On the 26 November 2021, WorldSkills UK announced its list of winners, among them was TSW's engineering apprentice, Sion Murray. More than 400 young students and apprentices took part in the WorldSkills UK National Finals, representing the best talent and skills from across the UK.
TSW Apprentice engineers, Sion Murray, Kodie Higgins and Will Holmes, all work for FSG Tool and Die in Pontyclun, competed in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling category in October. They've already gone head-to-head with more than 3,000 applicants to reach the finals, which had been whittled down to just 300 hopefuls.
Sion Murray came away with the gold medal, proving his skills to be the 'best of the best' in the UK, and Will Holmes was highly commended.
What is WorldSkills UK?
The WorldSkills UK competition-based development programmes are designed by industry experts and enhance the practical skills and knowledge taught on training courses by assessing an individual’s employability attributes against set criteria in a competitive timed environment.
Ben Blackledge, Deputy CEO of WorldSkills UK, said: “These young people are a real inspiration. They are an example to us all and should be celebrated. To have excelled after such a difficult year shows that their dedication and skills are truly excellent.
“Skills are the lifeblood of every economy, creating high quality jobs, rewarding careers, and our competitions are proof that there is amazing talent in every part of the UK.”
Meet gold medal winner, Sion Murray
Sion is currently in year three of his Level 3 Mechanical Manufacturing apprenticeship at FSG, moving between sections of the factory to carry out different aspects of toolmaking and working on different machines.
In 2021, Sion won Silver in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling category at Skills Competition Wales.
FSG's Apprentice Co-Ordinator and Lean/Operational Lead Excellence, Steve Cope, said: "Since starting at FSG Sion has showed a natural talent in engineering, but when he started using the CNC machines at UWTSD he really began to shine.
"After noticing his natural ability, Sion was entered into Skills Competition Wales where he came second. From this result he was put through to the national qualifying round of World Skills, then onto compete in the national Finals.
"To win at this stage was a massive achievement from Sion as he had never worked on the Machines or CAM software he had to use in the competition.
"This meant he had to not only learn how to program in a totally different language but operate a different type of machine. Despite all these obstacles Sion persevered and went on to win the Gold at the UK round of the World Skills Competition.
"Competing in the competition at this level has boosted the skills and confidence of all the apprentices that have took part, and FSG have seen real productivity gains on our shop floor."
Welsh engineering talent in the national spotlight
TSW's Engineering Route Manager, John Moulton has assessed Sion throughout his apprenticeship.
"He has worked so hard to get to this result," he said. "Sion has shown complete dedication to his work and commitment to the engineering industry. Earlier this year, Sion competed at Skills Competition Wales, winning silver in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling category. Now he is a gold medallist at an even higher level. I know he will go on to continue his success throughout his career. "
Would you like to enter a WorldSkills UK competition in 2022? It's a fantastic opportunity to showcase your skills, so register your interest on the WorldSkills UK website, or contact your TSW Training Advisor for more information.