Local engineering company’s CNC Milling Programmer named best in the country

  • Jacob Wiggett with a representative of category sponsor Semta Skills.

A young CNC Milling Programmer from Norwich has just won the Gold Medal at the WorldSkills UK Competitions to be named National Champion 2018, beating seven other finalists from internationally renowned engineering brands.

Jacob Wiggett competed against the UK’s top CNC Programmers in front of over 70,000 visitors at WorldSkills UK LIVE. Taking place from 15–17 November at the NEC Birmingham, WorldSkills UK LIVE is the country’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event.

“The competition was a fantastic experience and I have learned a lot.” Jacob said. “I was a bit nervous about working with all those people watching, but I thought I had done okay. Still, hearing my name come up as the winner came as a bit of a shock.”

Jacob finished his apprenticeship with East Coast College and Thurne-Middleby Ltd, a Norwich based engineering company specialising in design and manufacture of high speed food slicing equipment, in June and is now a full-time CNC Milling Programmer at Thurne. He said: “I’m thankful for the support everyone at Thurne has given me. I have some great mentors, and much of my success is down to them.”

Dean Folkard, Production Manager at Thurne-Middleby Ltd, who attended WorldSkills UK Live to support Jacob, was delighted about the result. “Jacob did brilliantly and we are very proud of his achievement. The standards were very high, and it’s great that all of his hard work and dedication has been rewarded.”

As a company with 77 employees, including six apprentices, Thurne-Middleby Ltd offers a great environment for apprentices to thrive in and develop their skills, enabling them to make an important contribution to Thurne’s in-house manufacturing and design capabilities.

The company’s apprentice scheme was also recently recognised by East Coast College with an award as the Apprentice Employer of the Year 2018.

About Thurne

Thurne offers a comprehensive range of slicing systems for fresh and precooked bacon, cooked and cured meats, natural products and cheese applications.

Our proven solutions are based on 50 years’ experience and are highly regarded by food processors around the world, from small family firms to multi-site corporations. 

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