Three engineering apprentices studying for qualifications at City of Wolverhampton College are up for selection for a national team to represent the UK in the world finals of a prestigious skills competition.

The trio – Matthew Plant, aged 18, Niall Howarth, 19, and Jonathan Mackay, 21, who combine working for Moog Aircraft Group in Fordhouses with studying for a HNC in mechanical engineering at the college – are among only seven engineering apprentices in the country to be put forward for consideration for the national team to compete in the finals of the WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

The apprentices were selected for Squad UK after impressing judges and picking up a bronze medal in the manufacturing team challenge at the national finals of the WorldSkills UK competition at the NEC in Birmingham in November 2015.

They will now undergo intensive training with industry specialists from across the country before pitching their skills against other squad members in an elimination competition in June, following which the top three performers will go forward for further development and training before the final category representative for Team UK is selected in January 2017.

Claire Boliver, principal of the college said “Being selected for Squad UK is recognition of the high level of technical skills and knowledge that the three apprentices have developed and, once again, demonstrates how students at the college are gaining the skills required for successful careers in their chosen industry.”

City of Wolverhampton College is the premier engineering apprenticeship provider in the Midlands and currently provides training for around 80 apprentices, with 94% achieving the required standards for a full engineering apprenticeship qualification, against a national success rate of 78%.

Jonathan, Matthew and Niall are pictured left to right

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