Amazon engineering apprentice Arron Wilcock wins Enginuity Skills Awards Trophy Design Competition

Arron Wilcock, a Reliability Maintenance Engineering Apprentice at Amazon, who is part of a Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) Training Apprenticeship Programme, has been announced as the winner of this year’s Enginuity Skills Awards Trophy Design Competition.

Left to right: Olivia Lane (runner up); Jason Daniels, Regional Development Manager, EAL (judge); Faith Varghese (runner up); Ethan Dimaano (runner up); Arron Wilcock (winner); Oliver Selby, Head of Sales, FANUC UK (judge)

His design will now be manufactured by industrial automation specialist, FANUC, and presented at the prestigious Enginuity Skills Awards 2024.

2024 marks the tenth anniversary of this event, held by engineering and manufacturing skills charity Enginuity, to celebrate the brightest and best in UK engineering and manufacturing talent and the organisations championing skills development to ensure a bright future for the sector.

“To close skills gaps it is vital that we inspire people with the careers available in engineering and manufacturing and share best practice in skills development,” says Ann Watson, Chief Executive of Enginuity.

“We’re proud that the Enginuity Skills Awards has been celebrating UK skills excellence and champions for 10 years. Rapid advancements in engineering and manufacturing make this annual celebration even more important as we strive to ensure that skills keep pace with change.”

The MTC and FANUC are both supporters of the Enginuity Skills Awards 2024, with FANUC sponsoring the Large Employer Skills Champion category. The two organisations teamed up with the engineering and manufacturing awarding and end-point assessment specialist, EAL, who is sponsoring the Training Partner Skills Champion of the Year award, to run a trophy design competition so that even the prizes handed out at this year’s ceremony are a demonstration of UK engineering and manufacturing talent.

Over 150 engineering apprentices on MTC Training Apprenticeship Programmes were invited to submit designs for the trophies. Entrants were asked to design a CAD drawing, 3D print a prototype and present a business case for their design.

Arron’s design was selected as the winner by a panel made up of Andy Harvey, Applications Engineer, FANUC UK; Oliver Selby, Head of Sales, FANUC UK; Jason Daniels, Regional Development Manager, EAL; and James Wagstaff, Programme Delivery Manager, MTC.  

While the standard was extremely high this year with trophies inspired by UK innovation, the history of engineering and manufacturing, and women in engineering; Arron’s design impressed the judges by incorporating references to lifelong learning, skills development, growth and sustainability in manufacturing.  

As well as getting to see his design brought to life by FANUC, Arron will also be invited to attend the Enginuity Skills Awards ceremony; hosted by Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and award-winning broadcaster Steph McGovern at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole next to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) during Smart Manufacturing and Engineering Week on 5th June 2024.

Prior to joining Amazon as an apprentice in 2021, Arron was a member of the Royal Navy for 6 years where he served as a Seaman Specialist. Once Arron left the Navy he spent some time back at college reskilling. In 2023 Arron secured a place as an Amazon Reliability Maintenance Engineer on the MTC Training Apprenticeship Programme where he is studying to become an Engineering Technician in Mechatronics.

Arron says:

“It’s amazing that my design will now be the trophy that is handed out in front of so many leaders and innovators from the engineering and manufacturing sector.

“The fact that it is the ten-year anniversary of the Enginuity Skills Awards makes winning this competition extra special.’

Satty Cole, Education Business Development Manager, FANUC UK comments:

“As the Business Development Manager at FANUC, I firmly believe that sponsoring the Enginuity Awards presents a tremendous opportunity for us to not only celebrate excellence in the industry but also to actively contribute to closing the skills gap.

“By investing in such initiatives, we not only upskill our own workforce but also inspire others to pursue careers in automation and engineering.

“We wanted to ensure that the trophies themselves represented what the Enginuity Skills Awards stands for. Together, we can shape a future where innovation thrives, and the industry remains at the forefront of technological advancement."

James Wagstaff, Programme Delivery Manager, MTC says:    

“MTC Training’s mission is to create the next generation of engineering talent while upskilling and reskilling existing workforces ensuring UK advanced manufacturing businesses have the expertise they need to succeed now and in the future.

“MTC Training apprenticeships, like the one Arron is on, are sponsored by Lloyds Bank and take place at our flagship facility, the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre in Coventry.

“As well as working with apprentices from large employers like Amazon, MTC Training also offers salary support for year one engineering apprentices employed by SMEs, along with free support, resources and funds to help smaller manufacturing and engineering businesses embrace innovation and increase productivity through Lloyds Bank’s nationwide SME Support Service.”

Al Parkes, Managing Director of EAL, comments:

“As the specialist awarding organisation and end-point assessment organisation for engineering and manufacturing, we know that making sure skills development keeps pace with changing needs often requires collaboration.

“This approach is an important part of why we are trusted to ensure that people have the right skills by engineers, private training providers and employers, as well as schools, academies, colleges, universities, sector bodies and governments.

“Collaboration is also vital when it comes to inspiring and celebrating engineering and manufacturing talent, which is why we were so pleased to be able to work alongside FANUC and the MTC on the Enginuity Skills Awards Trophy Design Competition.”