Jedburgh electrician Rhys picks up win at national contest

A Jedburgh electrical engineer has proved himself to be a real bright spark after picking up the gold medal at the WorldSkills UK Skillelectric 2018 competition for electrical installation.

Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 1:49 pm
Rhys Boni, from Jedburgh, with John Dicken from NET, a Skillelectric judge.

Rhys Boni, 23, a maintenance engineer with Kelso-based oat and barley miller John Hogarth, was put forward for the competition having won the regional heat for the south of Scotland and went on to win the Scottish heat earlier this year.

“It was overwhelming being the Skillelectric gold medal winner,” Rhys, 23, said. “It still hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

Rhys Boni.

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The former Jedburgh Grammar School and Borders College student previously worked with Kelso’s John Rae electrical firm, before it went into liquidation this summer.

He has worked with Hogarth’s for just over two months, and despite the change in employment successfully completed his apprenticeship last month.

Rhys added: “I was entered in to the worldskills competition as I was named Scottish apprentice of the year after taking part in the regional heat. Three other top scoring finalists from Scotland were also entered into the national competition’s final eight.

“The electrical industry is full of very talented individuals so winning this will set me out from the crowd.

“I absolutely love what I do and always strive to put 100% into everything I do, so it was a great achievement to top off my apprenticeship.”

Organised by the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust, this year’s three-day events was held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham earlier this month.

Over 500 competitors battled it out in 70 different disciplines, watched by scores of visitors and a panel of judges.

“I enjoyed taking part in the competition and was definitely out of my comfort zone meeting new people, but the other eight competitors were great,” Rhys said. “But we got on really well despite the age gaps and the fact that we were from all over the UK and Ireland. “We had a great fun throughout the competition.

“The experience was amazing and I would encourage upcoming electrical apprentices to take part in the event if they are given the opportunity.”

Rhys began his pre-apprenticeship course at Borders College in 2011 before progressing to the national certificate in electrical engineering and returning when he became an employed electrical apprentice.

Engineering lecturer Dale Clancy said: “It is no surprise that Rhys has achieved this success, and the support and encouragement that SECTT have also provided is a great advertisement for our region and also for the apprenticeship scheme,” she said. “Out with all the support and opportunities that this has brought about remains the fact that Rhys is a very talented individual with a great professional understanding, and all the lecturing staff at Borders College are sure this is the start of a very successful career in the electrical industry.”

Electrical engineering lecturer at Borders College, Brian Ker added: “Rhys always excelled in college and set a really high standard for those around him. He has been a pleasure to work with and since the start he has had the potential to have a very successful career in this industry. He is very deserving of the achievements he has worked hard for. I am very proud of what he has done.”