Two North Notts College students recently reached the finals of World Skills UK 2016, taking part in the Environmental Science competition.
World Skills UK aims to inspire young people to be ambitious and to build on the skills they are learning.
Harry Brown and Ben Sofield, Countryside Management students, worked as part of a team to design a 25 year energy plan for an imaginary island. Their aim was to show how they would successfully convert the power supply from coal to greener energy, based on the recent Paris climate deal.
“We were given booklets full of information on the climate and the population of the island. Both me and Harry believe that nuclear energy should be used as a last resort, but half an hour in we decided we would have to nuclear if it was going to work,” Ben said.
“You all had to use your initiative and I felt that we came together as a team and worked well. I think that was a really crucial part of the experience.”
The students immersed themselves in the task, with Harry even considering calling real countries to gather up to date information on energy strategies. “It got a bit crazy, and at one point I was going to try and call someone in Iceland to ask how much it cost to build their generators!” Harry said.
After completing their plan, Harry and Ben then had to present their report to the judges, who posed as authorities such as government officials and environmental activists. “The competition showed you what the job would really be like,” Ben said, “we were really worried about the presentation but we did well. It definitely builds your confidence.”
Land-Based Studies tutor, Geoff Fisher, said “I’m proud of Ben and Harry’s achievement and the hard work they’ve put in to get there. I also know that they have benefited from the experience by developing their ability to work under pressure and network with professionals in areas of work they are hoping to succeed in.”
Harry and Ben are both considering furthering their studies by moving on to Higher Education after completing their course at North Notts College.