February 21, 2013 London, UK
More than 100 trainee welders from colleges and training facilities across the UK have signed up to take part in this year's SkillWeld 2013 competition to find Britain's most talented trainee welder. The competition is run by the SkillWeld committee, including The Welding Institute and various trade and industry organisations. There are 112 entrants to this year's competition, up from 78 last year. They include trainee welders currently serving apprenticeships at some of the UK's leading engineering businesses as well as some promising college students who have yet to find a work-based placement.
Joe Cosgrove from Hartlepool Doosan Power Systems was the winner of last year's national SkillWeld competition. He said: "Taking part was very enjoyable and I would definitely recommend it to other young welders. I discovered welding while still at school and decided it was the career for me but at that time I didn't realise that it was possible to get professional qualifications."
In the first phase of this year's competition, all entrants will be asked to fulfil various arc welding tasks, under timed conditions, using a variety of metals and methods. Their work will be evaluated by a local welding tutor and marking sheets submitted to the Skillweld committee for consideration to progress to the next stage of the competition. Those that make the shortlist will be entered into a regional semi-final event, with a chance to compete alongside other welders for a place at the national SkillWeld 2013 final.
This year's final will take place at the WorldSkills UK event at the NEC in Birmingham in November 2013 and the overall winner may be invited to compete in an international welding competition at WorldSkills 2015. As the lead sponsor of the event, Air Products is reaching out to welding trainees at a grassroots level to promote best practice and to help to raise welding skills levels throughout the country.
Colin Kennedy, Air Products Marketing Associate UK & Ireland, said:
"It is great to see so many welders taking part in this year's competition. Their interest is indication of the resurgence of interest we are seeing in engineering skills. Welding skills represent a gateway to a world of career possibilities in a wide range of industries – from working offshore in the oil and gas industry to precision manufacturing components for the automotive or aerospace industries."
Christoph Wiesner, TWI Group Chief Executive, said:
"Welding forms an essential part in the manufacturing of almost all everyday products. Without joining materials together, almost nothing could be made: from computers to cars and juice cartons to airplanes. It is joints and welds that keep our infrastructure working properly: from footbridges to railway lines and power stations. The successful application of welding requires the skills to make the actual weld but also the knowledge of the materials and processes which are used. We hope that SkillWeld continues to inspire young welders to reach new levels of excellence in their vital profession."
For more information about SkillWeld 2013 visit www.airproducts.co.uk/skillweld.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) provides atmospheric, process and specialty gases; performance materials; equipment; and technology. For over 70 years, the company has enabled customers to become more productive, energy efficient and sustainable. More than 20,000 employees in over 50 countries supply innovative solutions to the energy, environment and emerging markets. These include semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, coal gasification, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. In fiscal 2012, Air Products had sales approaching $10 billion. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
About SkillWeld 2013
SkillWeld 2013 is a national competition for trainee welders, run by The Welding Institute and UKSkills, and sponsored by Air Products. The competition helps to showcase the skills of trainee welders and to recognise the important role played by colleges, training providers and employers in supporting the development of welding skills nationwide. The national final of this year's SkillWeld 2013 event will take place at the UK WorldSkills event, organised by UKSkills, and the overall winner will go forward to compete internationally at WorldSkills 2014. For more information visit www.airproducts.co.uk/skillweld.
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