WorldSkills is a competition-based development programme, designed by industry experts, to enhance the practical skills and knowledge taught on training courses. The skills competitions assess employability attributes against set criteria in a competitive environment. The programme has a positive impact on competitors with 90% of previous entrants saying their career progression improved after competing.
Adam Kirkpatrick and Cameron Middleton were silver medallists at the UK National Final competition in November 2021. They were invited to compete for a coveted spot on the UK team for the International WorldSkills Finals by taking part in a two-day competition at Northern Regional College’s Farm Lodge campus.
Here they had to undertake an International Test Project based on offline and online industrial robot programming to prove their level of competence in this skill and secure their spots on the UK Team.
Northern Regional College lecturer in Engineering and WorldSkills UK Training Manager in Robot Systems Integration, Karla Kosch said: “I am so proud of Adam and Cameron. Qualifying to represent the country on the international stage is an amazing achievement.
“Their hard work became invaluable in the industrial robotics training and showed their commitment and determination to compete with the UK Team. I am confident that they will continue to demonstrate their full commitment to achieve excellence, not only in industrial robotics but also as highly valued engineers of the future.”
Adam, who completed his Foundation Degree in Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering at Northern Regional College and is currently completing a Mechanical Engineering Degree at Ulster University, said: “The last few stages within the competition have been very challenging, pushing us all further than we had ever expected. We have put lots of hours of training into the process so far and being selected to represent the UK at WorldSkills in Shanghai is proof that all of the hard work has been worth it.
“I can’t wait to put the UK and Northern Ireland on the map as title contenders.”
Cameron, who completed his Foundation Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the College and is now completing his Mechatronics Engineering Degree at Ulster University, explained that the last stage of the competition was a real challenge as it combined all that they had learned into a two-day event.
He said: “It incorporated building a gripper using only a working drawing, measuring and 3D modelling puzzle pieces using CAD software, and programming a robot to complete the said puzzle both physically using the ABB robots and on the Roboguide software.
“I am delighted to have been selected to represent the UK at the International Final in Shanghai and am so proud that the squad has representatives from all across the UK; it is a really strong team and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Gordon Kane, Curriculum Area Manager for Engineering and the College’s Skills Champion, wishes the two competitors every success for Robotics and Automation at the International WorldSkills competition in Shanghai 2022.
“We are justifiably proud of them for what they have achieved so far. It is a wonderful achievement to be selected to compete for the UK Industrial Robotics team and it is a reflection of their hard work and application to the competition process to date. They are shining examples of the skills and talent inherent to our young people and their achievements reflect their commitment and dedication in pursuing their chosen career paths, and I wish them all every success,” he said.