RPL Apprentices strike GOLD and SILVER at World Skills UK!

RPL Apprentices strike GOLD and SILVER at World Skills UK!

RPL Apprentices strike GOLD and SILVER at World Skills UK!

Ricoh UK Products Ltd (RPL) is delighted to announce that, once again, its Engineering apprentices have been awarded medals following their highly successful participation in the WorldSkills UK ‘Manufacturing Team Challenge’ National Finals.

WorldSkills UK is an independent charity and a partnership between employers, educators and governments. The charity uses international best practice and competitions to raise standards in apprenticeships and technical education so more young people and employers succeed.

The prestigious annual competition, which culminated in Manchester between 15-17 November, saw RPL’s apprentices take home GOLD and SILVER medals.

Congratulations to GOLD medallists, Eve Redden, Kian Beasley and Harrison Felton, and to SILVER medallists, Kieran Rowley and Josh Wynne, who initially entered the competition in March 2023, working in small teams to design, manufacture and program a tricycle – following a strict design brief set by World Skills.

A successful qualifier back in June 2023 saw both of RPL’s teams earn themselves a spot at the National Finals, where they competed against other UK-based teams including GE Aviation, Pullman Rail and Coleg Y Cymoedd.

In the lead up to the National Finals and in RICOH’s spirit of Kaizen, RPL’s apprentices continued to work on their projects, identifying improvements to help perfect the design and functionality of their machines, which also involved utilising advanced manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing.

As part of the project brief, the teams’ tricycles needed to have variable speed electric motor drive and manual pedal functionality, front and rear independent suspension, front and rear flashing lights, an LCD screen showing battery level, speed and status messages, as well as space for transporting a cubic meter of cargo.  

Other requirements included the ability to fold away the tricycle into a ‘neat package’ to be carried by a single person (occupying the smallest volume possible once folded), as well as being as lightweight as possible, assembled with the lowest toolbox weight, in the fastest possible production time, with the lowest material costings.

In addition to these challenging requirements, teams had to present an extensive portfolio of documentation, showing a gantt chart of the production plan schedule, 2D and 3D CAD drawings, electrical schematics, bill of materials with costings, user manual and maintenance manual, together with a video of animated CAD showing every individual part of the machine being assembled.

During the National Finals, teams had two full days to fully remanufacture their tricycles under the watchful eye of the judging panel, as well as competing in a series of associated challenges.

RPL’s teams accumulatively scored maximum points for: Lowest Costing Product; Lowest Weight Product; Lowest Toolbox Weight; Highest Storage Capacity; Lowest Packaged Volume; and Fastest Build.

According to RPL’s Learning & Development Officer, Claire Shepherd: “Not only did our teams score maximum points in a number of categories, but both teams produced a very strong portfolio, which gained fantastic feedback from the judges.”

After all challenges were complete and scores locked in by the judging panel, an awards ceremony took place at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on the evening of Friday 17 November 2023, where the BRONZE, SILVER and GOLD medal winners were announced.

Claire Shepherd commented: “We are delighted that RPL’s teams were awarded gold and silver medals for their efforts and would like to congratulate our apprentices – and Mark Smith (Senior Engineer) – who has mentored our apprentices throughout their World Skills journey, on their fantastic achievement!”

She added: “This exciting project has helped our apprentices to develop key engineering skills in a variety of different disciplines which will be valuable as they work towards completing their apprenticeships and also in pursuing their future engineering careers.

“Throughout their WorldSkills journey, our apprentices have displayed a number of RICOH’s core values including teamwork, winning spirit, passion and innovation – we are incredibly proud of our apprentices and all they have achieved through their participation in this competition. Well done!”

Further information about the World Skills UK ‘Manufacturing Team Challenge’ can be accessed here: 


For more information about apprenticeships at Ricoh UK Products Ltd, visit: