Gower College Swansea student Angelo Amoruso has just proved himself one of the brightest young sparks in Welsh electronics by claiming the top title in a prestigious all-Wales skills contest.
The 18-year old aspiring engineer battled it out against 10 other students from across Wales to be named Skills Competition Wales winner for industrial electronics.
Angelo’s skills have proved an inspiration within his family and younger brother Stefano, 16, is now following hard on his heels, aiming to studying electronics for his A Levels.
Backed by the Welsh Government and the European Social Fund, the annual Skills Competition Wales events are designed to showcase excellence in vocational learning and promote the importance of developing a highly skilled workforce.
Angelo’s success in the electronics final came on home-turf as the competition was hosted at Gower College Swansea’s Tycoch campus.
Runners up included Jordan Clarke, 18, of Ystrad Mynach College, who took silver place and Daniel Thomas, also from Gower College Swansea, who took bronze place.
Angelo, from the St Thomas area of Swansea and a former pupil at Cefn Hengoed Community School, said: “Nobody in our family really has a background in engineering, but after school I just decided it was something I thought I’d enjoy and now Stefano is preparing to do the same course in sixth form.
“I started getting in to it after I took engineering as an option in Year 10 at school and realised I wanted to learn more, so now I want to go on to university in Swansea and follow a career in engineering.”
Angelo’s success and that of his fellow competitors, who performed to one of the highest standards judges had ever seen at the contest, will prove reassuring to industry leaders who warned in 2012 that a shortage in engineering graduates could affect UK business if not dealt with properly.
The competition saw participants complete three tasks focusing on the practicalities of designing, assembling and maintaining an electronic circuit as well as electronics theory.
The EU-backed Skills Competition Wales aims to find Wales’ most talented trainees across a wide range of skills, including fields such as patisserie, automotive engineering, aerospace, construction skills, catering, accountancy, media, and information technology.
Skills Competition Wales offers learners the chance to test, benchmark and raise their skills levels and provides valuable competition experience for those who enter and progress onto WorldSkills UK competitions. For employers, competitions not only help drive up the quality in apprenticeships and vocational education, but also motivate employees to achieve success.
WorldSkills UK competitions are the feeder route for competitors to go forward and represent their country at the biennial International 'WorldSkills' competition – the world’s largest skills competition. The next WorldSkills event takes place in Leipzig, Germany in July of this year.
The Welsh Government is encouraging businesses and skills providers in Wales to get involved, promote and support Skills Competition Wales and WorldSkills competitions.
Jeff Cuthbert, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, congratulated the successful contestants. He said: “These competitions are an excellent opportunity for up-and-coming skilled workers in Wales to stretch themselves and really develop their abilities within their chosen fields. These competitions cover many important sectors of the economy and we aim to encourage young people entering these occupations to benchmark their skills against others in Wales, the UK or indeed internationally.”
For more information about Skills Competitions Wales and WorldSkills UK please visit www.worldskillsuk.org/wales
Photos: Working Word PR