Cambridge Regional College - Centre of Vocational Excellence

Our apprentice is world class! Elliot competes for a place at Singapore 2020

An apprentice with Cambridge Regional College, who makes blades for jet engines in aeroplanes, is proving he is world class by earning a place to compete at a prestigious national competition.

Elliot Reed will be competing in the milling section of the World Skills contest at the NEC in Birmingham with a chance, if successful, to compete in the international finals in Singapore in 2020.

The competition sees some of the most talented students from across the globe go head to head in a wide range of vocational education fields from construction to hairdressing, engineering to fashion technology.

Elliot, 25, will compete against seven other students in his category, who will be given seven hours to turn a complex drawing into a milled 3D model made of steel or wood, with the help of computer aided design technology.

“You have to be dexterous and precise,” Elliot said.

“We can cut to within 0.01mm precision and in this contest that will be crucial to win.”

Elliot works at the Whittle Laboratory of Cambridge University where he is involved in the highly complex work of manufacturing blades for jet engines and turbines to improve aerodynamics on aeroplanes.

His work at the laboratory is aimed at reducing the environmental impact of power generation and aviation.

Elliot spends one day a week studying at CRC and the rest working as a laboratory technician for students and research graduates, providing technical support to learners.

He has been on the apprenticeship programme with CRC for six years where he has worked his way up to an advanced Higher National Diploma level, alongside honing his skills in the university workshops.

“I love my job, love making stuff and enjoy the satisfaction of a completed task.

“Being an apprentice means that college and work supports each other. The hands-on learning also means I have picked up tips and techniques from colleagues. The competition will be tough but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Naomi Larner, Head of Engineering, said: “Elliot’s progression on the apprenticeship route is fantastic to see. He is a great role model for students who wish to learn while working to progress their careers. We wish him every luck at the World Skills contest.”

Elliot, a former Swavesey Village College student, will be at the NEC World Skills contest from November 20 to 23
If successful, he will be invited to the International World Skills final in Singapore, in 2020.

Background to Whittle laboratory
The work carried out at the Whittle laboratory of Cambridge University is designed to have real-world impact. It offers world-leading research to improve the aero-thermal performance of turbomachines. Find out more in this link.

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