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Apprentices from Make UK’s Technology Hub in Aston came away with two of the top prizes at last weekend’s WorldSkills UK LIVE, the country's largest skills and careers event.

Raisa Matadar, a Maintenance Apprentice with Jaguar Land Rover, won the Rising Star category in the Diversity & Inclusion Hero awards, while a team of two Amazon Mechatronic Maintenance Technician apprentices, Mantas Budraitis and Luke Vials, won Robotics gold, part of the National Skills Competition Engineering & Technology finals.

WorldSkills UK LIVE ran across three days at the NEC in Birmingham, with stimulating hands-on exhibits, fascinating talks and Q&A sessions with leading employers and live entertainment.

Raisa commented: “I’m over the moon; I definitely wasn’t expecting to win tonight especially among the shortlisted candidates, but I can’t wait to go celebrate now.

“Being BAME, a woman and an engineer – inclusivity is very close to my heart. I am delighted to win this award.”

Mantas added: “Luke and I work very well as part of a team as he’s really good at programming and testing, whereas I am stronger at building. It was fantastic to see that teamwork paying dividends.”

Stephen Mitchell, Director of Apprentices and Technical Training, Make UK, said: “Raisa, Mantas and Luke are all a credit to Make UK, and our aim to strengthen the UK’s manufacturing industry. 

“They are part of the next generation of engineers and manufacturing leaders that we are developing, through our apprenticeships, at the Technology Hub. This pipeline of talent is crucial to the future of the industry, and also the nation.”

Make UK is holding two open days for next year’s autumn intake of apprentices, on January 25th and March 28th 2020. For information go to www.makeuk.org/future-makers