Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
November 26, 2021


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Engineers of Tomorrow

Engineers of Tomorrow and WorldSkills UK winners announced for 2021!

The highly regarded IFSEC Engineers of Tomorrow competition continued to go from strength to strength in 2021, with the process now concluded. The winners, competing in WorldSkills UK for Electronic Security Systems and the Engineers of Tomorrow finals for the fire competition, have now been revealed! 

Engineers of Tomorrow helps to raise the profile of engineering apprenticeships and the opportunities they represent within the sector. Usually taking place at IFSEC and FIREX International each year, winners of regional heats compete in a live installation challenge at the show. In addition, the winners of the electronic security competition proceed to the final of WorldSkills UK LIVE, the nation’s premier skills, apprenticeships and careers event.

The competition, which encompasses two separate events – one for electronic security installers, and the other for installers of fire safety systems – aims to help tackle the growing engineering skills gap and attract and retain the next generation of security and fire systems installers. While the 2020 competition was unfortunately unable to go ahead, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, 2019’s competition saw over 100 entrants take part, a number only set to increase as the competition continues to grow.

Despite continued disruption due to the pandemic, the 2021 event was another huge success, with the winners now revealed! The standards were once again extremely high this year, with over 160 entries across the two competitions. Congratulations to all those below who won, as well as those who made it into the final stages of the process:

The finalists at the Security & Fire Excellence Awards

Electronic Security Systems

WorldSkills UK winners

  • 1st Place: Owen Nelson (EFT – Training Provider: Skills for Security)
  • 2nd Place: Gianluca Mori (Banham Group – Training Provider: Banham Academy)
  • 3rd Place: Richard Collingwood (JCI – Training Provider: Banham Academy)
  • Highly commended: Thomas Docherty (JCI – Training Provider: New College Lanarkshire) and Peter Smylie (Beacon NI – Training Provider: South East Regional College)

Additional finalists

  • Lucas Hearn (Banham Group – Training Provider: Banham Academy)
  • Tony Steer (JCI – Training Provider: Banham Academy)
  • Sean Kent (JCI – Training Provider: Banham Academy)
  • Josh Stewart (Assure Alarms – Training Provider: GTG Training)

Ben Blackledge, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, WorldSkills UK, said: “I want to offer my congratulations to all those that took part in our programme this year, especially the finalists. Our competitions and competition-based development programmes equip apprentices and students with the lifelong, world-class skills that will help increase UK productivity and competitiveness.”

The programme has a real impact on those taking part, with 90% of previous entrants saying their career progression improved after competing, and 86% stating their personal and employability skills had improved.

Fire Alarm Systems

Engineers of Tomorrow winners

  • 1st Place: Adam Smylie (Beacon NI – Training Provider: South East Regional College)
  • 2nd Place: Jessica Goodson (JCI – Training Provider: Banham Academy)
  • 3rd Place: Tony Steer (JCI – Training Provider: Banham Academy)
  • Highly commended: James McIntyre (EFT Group – Training Provider: Skills for Security)

Additional finalist

  • Leo Green (BK Fire Ltd – Training Provider: Skills for Security)

Find out more about some of the finalists, and why they’d encourage others to consider a career in the security and fire systems installation sector, here: Meet the WorldSkills UK and EoT finalists!

The Finals were held on the 18th and 19th November at Skills for Security’s dedicated training centre in Warrington.

Winners of the security and fire competitions were announced at the Security and Fire Excellence Awards, and live on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch in late November.


Engineers of Tomorrow competition, taking place at IFSEC and FIREX International 2019

The 2021 event witnessed a few changes to previous years, not least because of COVID restrictions, however, regional heats still took place across all four UK nations, and the electronic security competition semi finals, and fire installation competition finals, continued. This year, the regional heats took the form of a knowledge-based assessment which was completed online and invigilated by an employer or tutor. There were two separate assessment for fire and security, with separate online links. Students who wished to compete in both competitions were required to register for both competitions separately.

Stakeholders involved in supporting and contributing to the IFSEC & FIREX Engineers of Tomorrow competition are Skills for Security, CSL, NSI, SSAIB, and Texecom Academy, while additional support comes from the BSIA.

Watch the 2019 Engineers of Tomorrow winner interviews

In addition, several manufacturers have demonstrated their own commitment to the event. As part of a three year commitment to the highly respected competition, Hikvision, Texecom and CSL all donated equipment to be used in the heats, whilst Advanced and Apollo Fire Detectors – both part of the Halma Group – have donated products for the fire competition.

If you’d like to find out more about the Electronic Security Systems competition for Engineers of Tomorrow and WorldSkillsUK, you can read the technical handbook for 2021, here.

You can keep up-to-date with Engineers of Tomorrow via the EoT twitter account: @EoTIFSEC 

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