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Kendal College Computing students scoop first leg of Worldskills UK Heats

03 May 2012

On Friday 30th April, Kendal College IT students, James Wilson and Darryl Hunter, took part in the first leg of the Worldskills Challenge for IT hosted at Northumbria College and secured first and second places in the regional heats, after a tough competition against three other colleges

Students taking part in the competition had to build a PC and business server from components, test and diagnose problems such as incorrect bios and jumper settings. Competitors then had to get both units working correctly, connect them together to form a network and configure them to a given specification. The timed event gave competitors three and a half hours to complete the task in a race against the clock and the other teams. Competitors were scored for accuracy, professionalism, and their problem-solving skills.

The next heat of WorldSkills UK will be at the Birmingham NEC this November and Darryl and James will have to wait until the end of June to find out whether they have made it to the finals.

IT lecturer Peter Price said: "We're absolutely chuffed with this result, as it's the first time we have entered IT students into WorldSkills. Having both a full time student and apprentice do so well at the regional heat is brilliant news".

James is an IT apprentice who has been employed in Kendal College's network support department for the past seven months. James, a former student at the Queen Katherine School, gained his current job at Kendal College after studying for his A levels. 

James said "I chose the apprenticeship route instead of going away to university, because it offered me good IT qualifications and the chance to get experienced as a network technician at the same time.

"When I finish the apprenticeship I'm hoping to go on and study a degree part time, whilst continuing to develop my career in IT and I really think that doing an apprenticeship is giving me a head start in the job market".

Kendal College offers a Foundation Degree in computing which enables computing professionals to gain a unversity qualification locally and top up to a full BA (Hons) with a final year at the University of Cumbria.

Lancaster-based Darryl joined Kendal College after studying his Level 2 computing qualification elsewhere, and is now studying the A level equivalent Level 3 Extended Diploma in Computing here at Kendal College

From September 2012 Kendal College will be offering a free bus to take students from Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham.