Gold and Silver medals for UWTSD AMSA apprentices


Congratulations to UWTSD Advanced Manufacturing apprentices Kodie Higgins and Sion Murray who received a gold and silver medal respectively at this year’s Skills Competition Wales award ceremony.

Kodie Higgins received a gold medal at this year’s Skills Competition Wales award ceremony.

They completed challenges as part of the CNC section of the competition, which focuses on cutting metal using a computer-controlled machine. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the entrants completed their challenges two at a time in a controlled environment using machines that are well spaced apart.

Advanced Manufacturing Skills Academy Manager Lee Pratt said: “The standard was exceptionally high from all competitors. Everyone involved should hold their heads high. We are so proud of all of them and delighted that Kodie and Will were awarded gold and silver medals.

“A big thanks to Adam Youens and the team for organising such a great competition, Mark Aspinall from competition sponsors Quickgrind and our 3 judges Steve Franklin, Steve Cope and Andrew John.”

The Academy opened its doors last year with the aim of building the skills needed to deliver technologies that keep Wales’ manufacturing industry globally competitive. It provides students with technical training to degree level, all within one facility in the IQ building in SA1, Swansea.

Working in partnership with three leading manufacturers - Mazak (machine tool supplier) Renishaw (measuring /inspection equipment) and Sandvik Coromant (material cutting tools supplier) the Academy is fully equipped to cater for the needs of a multitude of industry sectors.

The apprentices at the Academy are all currently employed trainee mechanical engineers who have been given the opportunity to study at the Academy as part of their apprenticeship programme to further enhance their technical skills using modern, high end industry standard equipment.

The competition comes at the end of a very positive first year for the Academy. It has run a highly successful pilot course with its first cohort of apprentices and has received some excellent feedback from industry, with employers reporting a significant rise in both ability and confidence amongst their apprentices.

Sion Murray received a silver medal at this year’s Skills Competition Wales award ceremony.

“We believe this competition offers a lot to our apprentices and their continued development. It not only provides a national platform on which to display their talents but also takes them out of their comfort zone and introduces them to different forms of pressure which they are likely to experience in a modern working environment,” added Lee.

This comes at a time when the impact of Covid-19 has heightened the need for these skills within the various industries served by the Academy. Graduates equipped with high-level skills have a vital role to play in helping to stimulate economic growth during these uncertain times and beyond, and UWTSD has been working closely with Welsh Government, local authorities, and industry partners to deliver the skills and opportunities that will help rebuild the fabric of communities in Wales.

Lee said: “We hope to grow this competition over the coming years, especially in the South Wales area and would encourage companies wishing to know more about the competition and how they can get involved to please get in contact with the Academy.”

Kodie and Sion are pictured receiving their medals from Barry Liles, OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Skills and Lifelong Learning at UWTSD.

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Mobile: 07384 467071