A Northern Regional College apprentice has been recognised as one of the UK’s most talented young tradesmen at an event organised by Worldskills UK.
Rory McCloskey (21), from Antrim, was a gold medal winner at the UK National finals in Birmingham.
He was competing with over 500 apprentices, exponents of 55 disciplines – as diverse as Aircraft Maintenance to 3D Game Design, Cabinet Making, Plumbing to Beauty Therapy and Cyber Security.
Rory was recognised for his expertise in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling which involves programming, setting and running a modern CNC milling machine to accurately produce a component in a given timeframe.
His journey to the national finals started earlier this year with local College competitions. From here, he progressed through the regional heats and national semi-finals where he finished in the top six in the UK to qualify for the National Worldskills UK 2017 finals which were held in Birmingham from November last week.
Rory is a Higher Level Apprentice and works for Randox Laboratories.
As a Foundation Degree student at the College’s Ballymena campus, he was trained on state-of-the-art CNC engineering machinery and learned how to program and operate machines such as Mazak, DMG Mori and Dooasan, equipment used in modern manufacturing companies throughout Northern Ireland.
The College provides education and training in this technology to a wide range of companies, including Ryobi Aluminium Castings, Linamar Montupet, Hutchinson Engineering, Randox Laboratories, McAuley Engineering.
Congratulating Rory on his success, Professor Terri Scott, Chief Executive of Northern Regional College said: “The award is a great credit to Rory and all the engineering staff at the College and is just reward for all Rory’s hard work and dedication.
“The College has a proud and prestigious tradition of education and training in the field of engineering and I am delighted to see that our provision continues to deliver a consistently high standard.”
Northern Regional College was well represented at the National Worldskills UK finals.
Rory was one of seven students from the College’s Ballymena, Coleraine and Newtownabbey campuses to qualify for the final stage of the competition.
The other College finalists were: Dean Boyle, who was awarded a bronze medal in CNC Milling; Matthew McLaughlin, from Newtownabbey who was highly commended in Graphic Design; Ryan Moon and Richard Woods (Mechatronics); James McCaughey (IT Software); Patrick McCloskey (Carpentry).