M-Sport employee Ryan Allenby has become the company's second apprentice to qualify for the final of the WorldSkills UK Engineering Awards. Allenby – who attends Lakes College in West Cumbria – was one of five finalists selected from hundreds of applicants and follows in the footsteps of fellow M-Sport employee Cody O'Pray who attended the final in 2013.
Combining four days at M-Sport with a day at Lakes College each week, Allenby was inspired by O'Pray who enrolled on the same scheme in 2013. With encouragement from his peers, Allenby was keen to showcase his own skills on the national stage and caught the eye of the judges having machined a set piece for the selection process.
Highlighting the strength of the M-Sport's workforce, the youngster was put forward by his colleagues who were quick to spot the Cumbrian's natural talent and flair. Guided by his tutors from M-Sport and Lakes College, Allenby will now have the opportunity to display his skills in a practical examination during the national final in Birmingham at the end of the year.
With programming and machining time over two modules, the youngster will be tested in a number of areas as he demonstrates his technique in the creation of a three-dimensional model. Assessed in everything from programming to manufacture, Allenby will be aiming to impress with the skills he has developed in conjunction with M-Sport and Lakes College.
Should the 19-year-old finish in the top-three, he will qualify for the British Team selection process which comes hand-in-hand with an opportunity to represent the nation at the World Finals in Dubai.
With his M-Sport colleagues making the journey to Birmingham to support him, and O'Pray acting as his personal coach in the lead-up, Allenby stands a good chance of success.
Ryan Allenby said:
"It is a real honour to be representing M-Sport and Lakes College at the national finals. I need to thank everyone at M-Sport and my college tutor – Mark Armstrong – for all of their support and encouragement.
"I am absolutely chuffed to bits and I need to say a special thanks to Cody [O'Pray] for inspiring me and agreeing to coach me throughout the process. He's given me a lot of great advice and really pushed me to do my absolute best.
"I am very proud to be supporting the region in the national finals and I will try my best to make the world finals. Whatever the result, I am really looking forward to the experience and extremely thankful for what will be a fantastic opportunity."
M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
"It is fantastic to see another youngster excelling in the programme between M-Sport and Lakes College. We're all immensely proud of Ryan's [Allenby] achievement and wish him the very best of luck for the final.
"It is young talent such as this that we have always been keen to develop. Ryan is a local lad who has worked hard to advance his skills and its people like him who will take the company forward as we continue to grow and develop our new Evaluation Centre.
"Ryan and Cody [O'Pray] are perfect examples of the engineering talent Cumbria has to offer and I hope their achievements inspire more local youngsters to consider an engineering vocation in which our region is fast becoming a world leader."