Five young engineers from defence firm BAE Systems will put their skills to the test against the best in the country this week.
They will compete in the UK finals of the World Skills competition at The Skills Show from tomorrow when a national squad to represent the country at the international finals in Abu Dhabi in 2017 will be selected.
The competitors are apprentices Mohammed Adam, Adam Websdell and Tobias Husbands and manufacturing engineer Callum James who work for the company in Lancashire, and aircraft mechanic Ben Flood, who works for them at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
Callum, 20, from Longridge, won a silver medal at last year’s competition when he competing in the mechanical Computer Aided Design (CAD) competition. He works at BAE Samlesbury.
He said: “It is a very high pressure environment, you are given a complex part to design and then you have people watching everything you do.
“I had to design a six-cylinder rotary engine and a three-piston actuator last year, which are very complex so have lots of things which can go wrong, meaning you have to correct them as they go.”
Tobias, 18, from Preston, is a third year technical apprentice with BAE Systems Military Air and Information. He said: “I competed in the North West heat for UK Skills earlier in the year which was good experience, but I am expecting the national finals to be a real step up.
“You are competing against the best in the country and have six hours to design and prove the piece from scratch with people walking past all the time, so you are under a lot of pressure.”
The contest takes place at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.