Talented Danny McBean takes the top title at SkillELECTRIC final
Rising star from SELECT Member firm triumphs in WorldSkills UK contest after tackling a tough series of tasks in this year’s prestigious competition
Delighted Danny McBean says he’s “over the moon” after clinching first place in the prestigious SkillELECTRIC competition.
The 21-year-old, who works for SELECT Member company Grants (Dufftown) Ltd, was this year’s sole Scottish representative in the finals at Oldham College.
Held as part of WorldSkills UK, the event saw two-and-a-half days of tough competition – and Danny returned home with gold after impressing the judges with his craftmanship and attention to detail.
Speaking afterwards, he said: “I’m absolutely over the moon and still can’t quite believe it – when they read out my name I was frozen for a second!
“Well done to all the other competitors who took part; all the judges said it was really close and one of the most competitive years ever.”
Barrie McKay, SECTT Training and Development Manager, said: “We always say the standard is extremely high at SkillELECTRIC but there really wasn’t much between any of the competitors this year. However, once again the quality training we deliver in Scotland shone through and we’re all so pleased for Danny.”
Danny – who attends UHI Moray College in Elgin, where his dad Iain is a lecturer – battled it out in a complicated electrical installation task comprising four circuits, steel wire armour and fire performance cable, lights, sockets, conduit, trunking and a smart module.
The task had to be completed within a strict timeframe and was marked against tough criteria including wiring and connection skills, inspection and testing and measuring and marking out, which had to be accurate within + / – 2mm.
For the first time, competitors also completed a solar PV-related task to reflect the fact that the core competence of a qualified electrician is the foundation from which to upskill and train in solar installation.
Darren Green, General Manager at Grants (Dufftown) Ltd, added: “Danny’s win is absolutely tremendous and we’re delighted for him. He’s been a great employee and what he’s achieved is unbelievable.
“It’s great for us as an employer too. Like others in the industry, we’re finding skilled resource limited, so the development of apprentices is key to the future of both our business and the industry. If we can support Danny and others it can only benefit all involved.”
Organised by National Electrotechnical Training (NET), SkillELECTRIC was one of 50 WorldSkills UK national finals held over a week across Greater Manchester, with competitors gathering for a special medal ceremony hosted by TV presenter Edith Bowman.
Danny will now go forward and receive additional training with the hope of making the UK squad for WorldSkills Lyon in 2024. Anne Galbraith, SECTT CEO, said: “Danny is a fine young man and an excellent competitor and to hear his name called out for the gold medal was thrilling. This is a super achievement and who knows what Lyon 2024 may bring.”
All finalists received a range of prizes including equipment from SELECT Associate Members Megger and Scolmore Group, with Danny also receiving a Megger multi-function tester, an iPad, electrician’s tool kit, VDE Plier Set from CK Tools and £250 Electric Center voucher.
It’s a double for danny
As well as coming home with the SkillELECTRIC trophy, Danny was presented with another prestigious award by the SECTT team.
Barrie McKay and Senior Training Officer Craig Johnston handed the youngster the Rab Sherry Trophy for the best SECTT apprentice of 2023.
The award has been created in memory of SECTT and SJIB Trustee Rab, who was a Unite the Union official and a huge supporter of electrical apprenticeships until his death in 2022.
Barrie said: “The SECTT Trustees felt it would be appropriate to recognise Rab’s support with this award and also felt that Danny was an extremely deserving recipient.”
Long list of winners
Danny follows in the footsteps of other talented SECTT apprentices who have triumphed at the SkillELECTRIC final.
Craig Fairweather of Member firm McDonald & Munro in Moray was crowned 2022 champion, with silver going to Andrew Horne of A Campbell Electrical Services in Stornoway.
Scottish apprentices Lewis Sim and Darren Kerr won silver and bronze respectively at the 2019 competition.
And in 2018, Rhys Boni and Paul Anderson returned with gold and silver, reinforcing the excellent training north of the border.