Twenty-year-old Stuart Graham has been named the UK’s best young electrician after winning the SkillELECTRIC grand final at the NEC in Birmingham.
Stuart, who runs his own business, Graham Electrical, won the competition after scoring top marks in a two-day electrical installation task that consisted of power, lighting and other circuits, components and control systems, which had to be completed in line with industry standards against a strict timeframe.
He qualified for his place in the final after winning his regional heat in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, which saw him compete in a five-hour practical challenge against 12 other apprentices from the area.
“I’m delighted to have won,” Stuart said. “The final was very tough but it was a great experience. I’d recommend taking part in this competition to anyone who might be thinking about it for next year – it’s a great way of testing your skills.”
Jon Dicken, Technical Development Manager at NET, who organised the 2016 SkillELECTRIC competitions alongside WorldSkills UK, said: “Congratulations to Stuart on winning this year’s SkillELECTRIC competition. It’s a truly outstanding achievement and one which I’m sure will be the first of many in his career. These competitions provide a platform to highlight the skill required to become an electrician and the opportunities a career in this industry can provide, which is crucial at a time when we’re competing with so many industries for high calibre apprenticeship candidates.”
Speaking on behalf of WorldSkills UK Competitions, Dr Neil Bentley, said: “I offer my congratulations to Stuart. WorldSkills UK Competitions are proven to enhance a person’s apprenticeship or training programme by enabling them to develop key character and employability skills. By using knowledge gained from competing nationally and internationally, we know we are working to benchmarks that will equip more young people with the right skills to help UK businesses better compete globally.”
Steve Brawley, Chief Executive of the Joint Industry Board, who are the premium sponsor of the 2016 SkillELECTRIC competition, said: “Once again the JIB has been proud to sponsor SkillELECTRIC; it’s been extremely rewarding to witness the focus and dedication of all the competitors. They stayed calm under pressure and showed the Skills Show visitors how highly skilled the electrotechnical industry is – congratulations to all who took part.”